Wendi Deng Twitter account is fake says Murdoch's firm

Rupert Murdoch and wife Wendi Deng
Image caption Rupert Murdoch joined Twitter at the end of last year - and then the fake Wendi Deng account appeared

A verified Twitter account purporting to belong to Wendi Deng, the wife of Rupert Murdoch, is a fake.

News International confirmed that the @wendi_deng account was a spoof.

The person running the account tweeted: "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."

It is not clear how the fake account was verified. Twitter has apologised for "the confusion this caused".

A Twitter spokeswoman told the BBC: ""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."

The hoax account was verified late on Monday evening, adding a blue symbol next to the username.

Twitter's website says it verifies accounts to "establish authenticity of well known accounts so users can trust that a legitimate source is authoring their Tweets".

It adds: "Linking to your Twitter profile from an official website is the easiest way to confirm your identity to your followers."


News International has told the BBC that it was mistaken when it told a BBC journalist on Monday night that the account was genuine.

The firm said it had taken until Tuesday morning to clarify the situation.

Image caption The fake Wendi Deng account briefly had a verified stamp before the mistake was discovered

The identity of @wendi_deng remains unknown, though the tweeter was quick to deny that it was Jonnie Marbles.

Jonathan May-Bowles, also known as Jonnie Marbles, was sentenced to six weeks in jail last August after pushing a plate of foam into Rupert Murdoch's face at a House of Commons committee hearing. The punishment was later reduced to four weeks.

"Oh, and I'm not Jonny (sic) Marbles either. Really. I'm a nobody. Not an aspiring comedy writer. Not anything," the hoaxer tweeted.

The account's owner has not yet responded to a tweet from the BBC asking for more information.

However the hoaxer promised: "I might say more later. I hope you won't all unfollow in complete disappointment that this account is fake."

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