Image: Oxfam America.
Although Rupert Murdoch’s decision to join the great unwashed on Twitter has been officially confirmed by the micro-blogging service, it would appear a similarly new account held by the media magnate’s glamorous wife is a controversial fake.
Controversial insofar as tweets apparently penned by one @wendi_deng on a verified Twitter feed showcased an overtly flirtatious manner while seeking the celebrity attentions of comedian Ricky Gervais and reality star Kim Kardashian.
“i think you look HOT ricky!!! (sssh dont tell @rupertmurdoch!)” one such message dispatched to Gervais offered soon after the account appeared on January 1.
However, any initial sensationalist media reaction to the appearance of Wendi Deng on Twitter was soon quelled by the site’s official confirmation that the account in question had been “mistakenly verified” and did not belong to Murdoch’s spouse.
“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,” it outlined during an official burst of backtracking. “We apologize for the confusion this caused.”
Beyond Twitter’s internal hiccup, said confusion was also unwittingly stirred by a spokesperson for Murdoch’s News International group, who initially told The Guardian that the @wendi_deng account was genuine before later issuing a swift climbdown.
The fake account’s creator—who has not been named—has since emerged from the shadows and admitted to setting up @wendi_deng “as a laugh” and being “completely and utterly shocked” when Twitter verified the feed.