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The New York Times was fooled by a fake online editorial about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, bearing the byline of former executive editor Bill Keller.
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.
I just deleted a Tweet sent late last night that was from a fake NYT Bill Keller account.
— Nick Bilton (@nickbilton) July 29, 2012
Keller, who until September was the paper's executive editor, wrote on Twitter:
THERE IS A FAKE OP-ED GOING AROUND UNDER MY NAME, ABOUT WIKILEAKS.EMPHASIS ON "FAKE. "AS IN, NOT MINE.
— Bill Keller (@nytkeller) July 29, 2012
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).