Twitter has admitted it mistakenly verified an account claiming to be Wendi Deng Murdoch, wife of media mogul Rupert.
The account — which was given a blue Twitter verification tick Monday night and quickly attracted over 9,000 followers, as Deng seemingly flirted with celebrities and rebuked her husband in his first days on the microblogging site — was believed to be a British man living in London, The Guardian reported.
Despite an official verified "tick" badge from the social networking service – now rescinded – a News International spokeswoman in London confirmed on Tuesday that the @Wendi_Deng Twitter account was fake, although the @rupertmurdoch account is genuine.
Confusion over whether the account was real or not was also fuelled by a News International spokeswoman who told the BBC the account was real late on Monday night, local time.
After 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."
The BBC quoted a Twitter spokeswoman as apologizing for "the confusion this caused."
"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," she reportedly said.
Twitter's communications account reportedly tweeted about the mistake early Tuesday.
"We can confirm that the @Wendi_Deng account was mistakenly verified for a short period of time and apologize for the confusion caused."
The account now proclaims:
"Verifiably not @rupertmurdoch's wife. Unless you're Twitter. Or News International. SPOOF ACCOUNT."
The person believed to be behind the account told The Guardian that:
"I set up the account as a laugh, simple as that, when I was bored over the new year holiday and saw all the hype surrounding Rupert Murdoch joining Twitter.
"When Twitter verified it, I was completely and utterly shocked. A little nervous too, if I'm honest, about what had happened and whether it had all gone too far.
"I just couldn't believe they would have verified such a high profile account without checking it out, but I absolutely received no communication from Twitter to the email address I used to register.
"If that's their security process for high profile users, then I do think they need to rethink it urgently."