The rumored asymmetric screw, allegedly designed by Apple with the purpose of keeping prying hands out of its gadgets, has been confirmed as a fabrication by a firm that specializes in motion graphics.
“We wanted to test this, how easy is it to spread disinformation?” said Lukasz Lindell blogging
, the company in question.
They reportedly sketched out this strange asymmetric screw in a 3D program, rendered the image, put it in an email, sent it to themselves, took a picture of the screen and anonymously uploaded it to a forum with the text, “A friend took a photo a while ago at that fruit company, they are obviously even creating their own screws.”
The alleged leak spread like wildfire in the tech media where anything that looks bold enough to be Apple’s invention guarantees a ton of hits.
“Apple is the world’s largest company, so they can take a few knocks,” Lindell wrote. “The community around Apple is often very active, especially before an upcoming Keynote where it is expected that the company will introduce new products.”
“In September [there] is one, and everyone expects the iPhone 5 to be announced. Rumors are flowing about the phone, its appearance, its features, its materials and so on. We found this was a fitting goal for our test,” said Lindell.
The company felt their experiment was well intended, and they still do, as “it raises a concern about how we consume information today.”
They point out that big players like Yahoo, Wired and Macworld ate up their “leaked” photo in a jiffy.
For those who feel betrayed or misled into believing the asymmetric screw was really an Apple invention, Lindell has a few words of apology.
“Finally, we just want to say sorry to you who feel cheated, but the meaning behind the experiment may provide a longer-term results, that we become more thoughtful about things we see on the Internet.”