Rupert Murdoch joined Twitter last week. So did his wife, Wendi Deng Murdoch. “Joining my husband @rupertmurdoch in our new digital adventure on Twitter,” reads her bio. Cute, right? Rupert was verified, Wendi was verified, and so began another cute chapter of celebrities figuring out how to use Twitter.
Much to the world’s surprise – and inability to cope – Rupert turns out to be pretty good at Twitter. You know who’s even better, though? Wendi. She’s so good, she convinced Twitter and News International to verify her account, even though, as she admitted today, she is a fake. Twitter didn’t even ask her, and News International thought it was legit. The account is no longer verified, but it was for a whole day.
Yes, that’s right. For an entire day, the account purporting to be Rupert Murdoch’s wife was verified, even though it was fake. The verification process is supposed to guarantee to Twitter users that this person is who they say they are. But, as fake-Wendi herself says, “you have to wonder… why Twitter verified this account for a full day. I never received any communication from them about this.”
Remember this cute exchange between Rupert and fake-Wendi, when Rupert said something politically prickly, and fake-Wendi hollered at him to delete the tweet?
People blogged about that. They thought it was real. It wasn’t. What is up with this? Expect to hear from Twitter later today about how this fake account got verified. We’ll keep you posted.
Update 11:01 a.m. EST Jan. 3, 2011:
Twitter has responded with a tweet confirming that it did verify the @Wendi_Deng account for a short time on Jan. 2.
Update 1:43 p.m. EST Jan. 3, 2011:
The Guardian’s Josh Halliday reports that the person behind the @Wendi_Deng account is a man from the U.K.
He also offers an excellent breakdown of how the story came out over at The Guardian, including an interview with the artist. That’s an appropriate label for this performer, right?