Bloomberg issues statement after publishing inaccurate Ukraine headline

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Bloomberg was forced to apologize Feb. 4, 2022, after its website briefly featured a story headlined “Russia invade Ukraine” (it hadn’t as of the time of the writing).

The headline popped on the site around 4 p.m. eastern and triggered a slew of confusion.

In a statement, Bloomberg noted “we prepare headlines for many scenarios” and the Ukraine headline was inadvertently made public.

The company promised an investigation into the error. The headline did not appear on Bloomberg TV and was quickly deleted off the website.

Bloomberg is not unique in having stories and headlines ready for certain events likely to occur at a moment’s notice. Often these stories contain basic information only and can be filled in with specifics before or after publishing should the news in it come to fruition.

In most cases, there are safeguards in place, such as keeping the content on “staging” server environments or tagged or categorized in a distinct way in the content management system, to prevent them from being inadvertently published, but there’s also both human error and technical glitches that could cause the failsafes to not work.