Forbes editor unmasked as 'Fake Steve Jobs'

A reporter at the New York Times has unmasked the man who posed as Apple chief executive Steve Jobs for more than a year on a popular satirical blog.

Share

A reporter at the New York Times has unmasked the man who posed as Apple chief executive Steve Jobs for more than a year on a popular satirical blog.

Brad Stone, who covers such beats as security threats and e-commerce for the newspaper from San Francisco, revealed the writer of "The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs" as Daniel Lyons, a senior editor at Forbes magazine.

Lyons is said to be disliked in some parts of the blogosphere for a Forbes article from 2005 called "Attack of the Blogs," in which he accused anonymous and pseudonymous bloggers of "spewing lies, libel and invective".

"I'm stunned that it's taken this long," Lyons told Stone when the reporter called him out as the blogger who had taken on the persona of ‘Fake Steve Jobs’, or FSJ. "I have not been that good at keeping it a secret. I've been sort of waiting for this call for months," Lyons was quoted as saying.

Previous attempts to pin a real name to FSJ have nominated Jobs himself, Chicago Sun-Times technology columnist Andy Ihnatko, and several other bloggers including Owen Thomas who now writes for the industry gossip blog Valleywag.

FSJ himself posted an entry titled "Damn, I am so busted, yo" that acknowledged his true identity had been revealed. Even in that post, however, Lyons kept in character, and omitted his name.

Many of FSJ's loyal readers were not amused by Stone's sleuthing, and considered the revelation as somewhat akin to spilling the end of the latest Harry Potter book to someone who had not read it.

"Thanks for ruining something good. Hope you're happy," wrote someone identified as Todd in a comment to a posting by Stone on the Times' "Bits" blog.

"You just ruined my life," added another blogger. “Thanks.”

A different writer said: "I'm now looking forward, come this December, to your front page exposé on the real identity of Santa wherein you attempt to ruin Christmas for millions of children everywhere."

FSJ directed similar sentiments at Stone on his blog: "Now you've ruined the mystery of Fake Steve, robbing thousands of people around the world of their sense of childlike wonder. Hope you feel good about yourself."

"The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs" will reportedly move to the Forbes.com website at some point in the near future. But so far, only FSJ has confirmed that.

Find your next job with computerworld UK jobs