Fake Wendi Deng Murdoch makes mockery of Twitter verified account process

Wendi Deng MurdochA fake account, claiming to be run by Rupert Murdoch’s wife Wendi Deng, has made a mockery of Twitter’s “verified account” process.

The @Wendi_Deng Twitter account, created shortly after media tycoon Rupert Murdoch joined the social network, has been bemusing Twitter users for the last few days and managed to earn a (much coveted) blue tick from Twitter verifying its authenticity.

Wendi Deng Murdoch Twitter account - with verified icon

Now, the account has admitted that it is a fake – and the unknown owner expressed bewilderment as to how Twitter came to verify that it was really being run by the media mogul’s wife.

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Fake Wendi Deng Murdoch Twitter account admits it's not the real Wendi

The Guardian even went so far as to quote a News International spokeswoman, who bizarrely confirmed that the Twitter account *did* belong to Wendi Deng Murdoch.

A number of newspapers were hoodwinked by the fake Wendi Deng, no doubt lulled into a sense of security that the tweets were real by Twitter assigning the account a “verified” icon. It certainly made for some amusing headlines..

Newspapers report on Wendi Deng's tweets

Certainly questions need to be asked as to how the bogus Wendi Deng’s account ended up verified by Twitter, when it appears that the brainbox behind the mischief never asked them to approve the account.

Clearly someone has been sloppy. And although no harm was done on this occasion, it’s possible to imagine how someone with more malicious intentions could have taken advantage of the situation.

To their credit, Twitter has now removed the “verified account” badge from the @Wendi_Deng account, but it really should never have been there in the first place.

Twitter introduced “Verified accounts” in 2009, after a number of celebrities found mischief-makers, satirists and pranksters were creating phoney accounts using famous names such as Al Gore, actress Emma Watson and Kanye West.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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