Photo by Marc Stamas/Getty Images.
UPDATE: Turns out the verified twitter account for @Wendi_Deng, Rupert Murdoch's wife, is fake.
News International, the UK publishing wing of Murdoch's News Corportion, had initially told the BBC that the account was real. But they soon realized their mistake. Shortly after, the fake Deng—who has so far remained anonymous—tweeted his or her own confirmation:
Hello Twitter. As News International has finally come to their senses, it's time to confirm that yes, this is a fake account. I'm not Wendi.
The account was verified—meaning that Twitter confirmed the identity of the tweeter—only briefly, gaining the status on Monday. When the BBC asked Twitter to comment on the mistaken confirmation, the company said, "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."
Post Monday, Jan 2: The media titan who used to think the Internet was a place for porn, thievery, and hackers has apparently started tooling around on Twitter, to amusing effect.
Rupert Murdoch, whose year has been marked by scandal and disgrace, ended 2011 on a chipper note by opening a Twitter account on Dec. 31 and tweeting about his family vacation, what he was reading, and the appeal of Ron Paul.
The first tweets provoked suspicion from Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff that the feed, @rupertmurdoch, could be a “brilliant News Corp PR operation,” since Murdoch is notoriously technophobic. But it has been verified as authentic by Twitter, whose co-founder Jack Dorsey tweeted: “With his own voice, in his own way, @RupertMurdoch is now on Twitter.”
And if it were a PR operation, “brilliant” might be the wrong word for it. The Sydney Morning Herald noted that within 48 hours of opening the account, Murdoch had “his first brush with tweeting-before-thinking.”
While on vacation in St. Bart’s himself, Murdoch tweeted, “Maybe Brits have too many holidays for broke country!”
His own wife, who began tweeting as @Wendi_Deng, was among the first to react, replying, “RUPERT!! Delete tweet!!” He did.
Her account has been verified as well.
Murdoch, whose feed so far has been marked by quirky spelling and punctuation as well as surprising directness, seems aware of Twitter’s potential pitfalls. After praising an Economist article, his own company’s movies We Bought A Zoo and The Descendants, and the Republican candidate Rick Santorum, he tweeted, “I'm getting killed for fooling around here and friends frightened what I may really say!”