Twitter announced on Tuesday that it had mistakenly verified an account spoofing Wendi Deng, the wife of conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
“We can confirm that the @wendi_deng account was mistakenly verified for a short period of time and apologize for the confusion this caused,” the site’s communication team tweeted.
The spoof account was created on January 1, just a day after Murdoch created his own account.
“I’m sorry if some of you feel misled by this Twitter account, but I never said it was entirely genuine. I never said it was a spoof either,” the spoof account tweeted on Tuesday. “But then it wouldn’t really be much fun if every spoof account (of which there are many) said SPOOF all over it,” it added.
Numerous media outlets reported that the spoof account was real after a News International spokeswoman said that it was genuine. But the company, a subsidiary of Murdoch’s News Corporation, later corrected itself, saying the account was actually fake.
“I set up the account as a laugh, simple as that, when I was bored over the new year holiday and saw all the hype surrounding Rupert Murdoch joining Twitter,” the creator of the spoof account told The Guardian.
“When Twitter verified it, I was completely and utterly shocked. A little nervous too, if I’m honest, about what had happened and whether it had all gone too far. I just couldn’t believe they would have verified such a high profile account without checking it out, but I absolutely received no communication from Twitter to the email address I used to register. If that’s their security process for high profile users, then I do think they need to rethink it urgently.
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