The New York Times was fooled by a fake online editorial purporting to have been written by former executive editor Bill Keller.
The op-ed, titled "WikiLeaks, a Post Postscript," appears to have been published today by the Times, and looks like the real thing, Agence France-Presse reported.
"As rumors build about the potential financial blockade against the New York Times by Visa, MasterCard, and American Express for hosting US government cables published by WikiLeaks, I find myself in the awkward position of having to defend WikiLeaks," the fake editorial said.
The fake op-ed looks so real that the Times' technology editor Nick Bilton even posted a link to it on his Twitter account, calling Keller's apparent defense of WikiLeaks an "important piece," AFP said.
Bilton later retracted the tweet.
Keller, who until September was the paper's executive editor, wrote on Twitter:
According to AFP, a key clue that the editorial was a fake was the web address: www.opinion-nytimes.com/2012/07/29/opinion/keller-a-post-postscript.html (pages at the real New York Times website start with www.nytimes.com).
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