Fake Wendi Deng Murdoch Twitter account accidentally verified

Tue Jan 3, 2012 5:09pm EST

NEW YORK (TheWrap.com) - Several news outlets erroneously reported that Wendi Deng Murdoch scolded her media magnate husband on Twitter after the site erroneously identified a fake account in her name as real.

"We can confirm that the @wendi_deng account was mistakenly verified for a short period of time and apologize for the confusion this caused," Twitter communications said Tuesday via -- what else? -- Twitter.

A supposed tweet from the News Corp. CEO's wife was quoted by The Associated Press and the British Guardian and Telegraph after Twitter erroneously said it had been verified as hers. (Twitter first began verifying accounts in response to a slew of celebrity impersonators who tricked fans and media outlets alike in the early days of Twitter.)

The fake Mrs. Murdoch pulled a fast one in response to a real tweet Monday from Rupert Murdoch: "Maybe Brits have too many holidays for broke country!"

His wife's impersonator responded: "RUPERT!!! Delete tweet!"

Murdoch did, after a flurry of offended responses. Whether his fake wife's was one of the ones that made him reconsider his tweet was unclear; he does not follow her on Twitter.

Adding to the uncertainty, News Corp. did not immediately verify whether the account was real.

The fake Wendi Deng changed her -- or his -- profile Tuesday to mock Twitter and News Corp. for falling for the hoax: "Verifiably not @rupermurdoch's wife. Unless you're Twitter. Or News International. SPOOF ACCOUNT," the profile read.

It had more than 9,400 followers Tuesday. The person behind the account expressed surprised at its verification: "And you have to wonder even more why Twitter verified this account for a full day. I never received any communication from them about this. ... I was as surprised - and even a little alarmed - when I saw the Verified tick appear on the profile," he or she wrote.