When Rupert Murdoch entered the realm of Twitter over the weekend, reporters immediately sought confirmation from News Corp that @rupertmurdoch was really the work of the media mogul. Yes, it was, the company confirmed. But when his wife, Wendi Deng, joined him on Twitter and began twitting him about some of his comments, no one asked to confirm her Twitter identity. But then, Twitter had placed a blue checkmark next to her name, indicating that it had verified the account. So when Murdoch wrote, "Maybe Brits have too many holidays for broke country" and @Wendi_Deng shot back, "RUPERT!!! delete tweet!" it looked like the couple were having a typical husband/wife tiff -- especially after Murdoch did in fact delete the comment. But on Sunday night, the blue checkmark disappeared from @Wendi_Deng, raising the curiosity of Josh Halliday, a media reporter for Britain's Guardian newspaper. Early today, he tweeted, "News Int tells me @Wendi_Deng is fake. It is an imposter. @rupertmurdoch is genuine." Later, the person pretending to be Deng acknowledged that he or she had opened a spoof account and that no one at Twitter had actually attempted to verify the identity. "I was as surprised -- and even a little alarmed -- when I saw the Verified tick appear on the profile," the fake Deng tweeted. "You might ask 'why didn't I tell them?' But surely Twitter should be checking out its Verified status more carefully? No?" Later "To those of you who kept maintaining the account was fake, even after being verified, good on you for being suspicious."



03/01/2012