Apple breaks the Think Secret rumor page

December 19, 2007 Apple is resolving a lawsuit with journalist Nick Ciarelli, which has resulted in closure Think Secret, his massively popular website about rumors about Apple. Writing under the name Nick de Plume, the Harvard University student published numerous Apple stories on the page, which he launched in the late 1990s.

The terms of Ciarelli’s deal with Apple remain secret. He said in a statement that he would “be able to continue with my university studies and wider journalistic activities.”

Apple lowers the hammer Think Secret

Anyone who followed the news about Apple in the early 2000s probably read it Think Secret. Although Ciarelli never revealed the source of his research, someone deeply rooted in Apple (at least at one point) fed him a constant string of accurate (or mostly accurate) reports on upcoming products.

This includes unofficial screenshots of Mac OS X Leopard before Apple released the operating system. However, the drop that overflowed the camel’s glass was a series of reports on the upcoming Macintosh and word processing software.

Think Secret published these rumors in 2004. They turned out to be true when Steve Jobs debuted with the Mac mini and iWork productivity package at the January 2005 Macworld event in San Francisco.

Apple: The realm of evil?

When Apple sued Think Secret due to the disclosure of trade secrets, opinions among Apple followers differed widely. Some saw the lawsuit as a violation of Apple’s generally friendly approach to cultivating fans. In short, as Apple climbed back to the top of the tech world, the company used its resources to deal with a small journalist. (Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak became the biggest name to ask Apple to recall dog attackers.)

On a broader level, some saw the lawsuit as evidence that Apple opposed freedom of the press. These people worried that suppressing the rumor mill would lead to a healed world of Apple news. According to this opinion, the only internal knowledge would come, either directly or indirectly, through a channel approved by Apple.

Others have sided with Apple, arguing that the First Amendment does not protect the disclosure of trade secrets. For those with this mindset, it made sense for Apple to go after employees who shared ownership information with strangers.

Apple’s war on rumors and Think Secret

Stopping such a leak of confidential information seemed to be Apple’s biggest goal in his war against bloggers at the time. The company has taken similar legal action against AppleInsider i O’Grady’s PowerPage.

Steve Jobs returned secrecy to Cupertino when he returned to Apple in 1997. This caused a great culture shock within the company. During the early 1990s, Apple was one of the companies with the largest number of leaks in Silicon Valley.

Think Secret publisher Ciarelli never shared details about the aftermath of his legal battle with Apple. However, he claimed to be an Apple fan before and after the suit was finished. According to LinkedIn, he currently works for BookBub, a company he co-founded in 2012. BookBub warns readers of the limited time of free and discounted e-books that suit their interests.

What was your introduction to the world of Apple rumors? Leave your comments below.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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