Murdoch

Murdoch’s Wife’s Twitter Account, @Wendi_Deng, Was Fake

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Following media mogul Rupert Murdoch‘s arrival on Twitter this week, wife Wendi Deng (@wendi_deng) showed up shortly afterwards, tweeting alongside her husband, flirting with comedian Ricky Gervais, politely declining to engage with the man who attacked Mr. Murdoch with a piepushing @rupertmurdoch to take down a questionable tweet (which he did), and generally being a spicy character worthy of a Twitter follow.

Only one problem: that wasn’t Wendi Deng Murdoch.

According to the @Wendi_Deng Twitter account this morning, she was just having “a bit of fun” and is “definitely not married to Rupert Murdoch.” In other words, it was a parody account. She (he?) says she’s a nobody, not even an aspiring comedy writer.

While parody accounts are a dime a dozen on Twitter these days, what made “Wendi Deng’s” notable is that it actually passed through Twitter’s verification process somehow – the process that determines that an account on Twitter is maintained by the person who it’s claiming to be, then given a checkmark indicating its verified status. This is generally used to verify celebrities, politicians and other public figures, like the Murdochs.

Somehow, “Wendi Deng” fooled Twitter – at least for a day. This even concerned the account’s holder, who says “…you have to wonder why Twitter verified this account for a full day. I never received any communication from them about this. I was surprised – and even a little alarmed – when I saw the Verified tick appear on the profile. You might ask ‘why didn’t I tell them?’ But surely Twitter should be checking out its Verified status more carefully? No?”

It is indeed a little worrisome that “Wendi Deng” slipped through the cracks in Twitter’s verification process – a process that’s always been sort of mysterious, to be quite honest. For celebrities with a web presence, Twitter will often use the star’s official home page as a source for the verification – if there’s a link to the Twitter account posted there, it’s legit. But in the case of public personas, it appears that Twitter trusted the numerous media reports claiming the account’s legitimacy instead.

We’ve reached out to Twitter to confirm if this was the case.

Update – Here’s Twitter’s statement:

“We don’t comment on our verification process but can confirm that the @wendi_deng account was mistakenly verified for a short period of time. We apologize for the confusion this caused.”

Obviously, that’s not a valid means of verification – the media can be wrong. And they clearly were. Which just goes to show, you can’t believe everything you read on the Internet, even if Twitter tells you it’s true.

And in case you missed Murdoch joining Twitter entirely, here’s the news, NMA-style: