It’s not clear just how the person pulled it off. What is clear is that it’s great fun to read the tweets of Wendi_Deng with the knowledge that they were once deemed “verified” — that is, that someone out there had a classic 2012 social media caper going for a day or two. A savvy trickster, Wendi_Deng churned out anodyne stuff that wouldn’t make any news or offend any followers — cheeky, insidery comments about how “she” and the real Rupert Murdoch were greeting Twitter. (Rupert Murdoch just launched an account, which Twitter says is really for real.)
So which of Wendi_Deng’s tweets should have alerted us to the scam? Which of them, in retrospect, scream, Oh, I should have known? Herewith an analysis of select Wendi_Deng tweets, accompanied by a Retrospective Authenticity Rating (RAR), on a scale of 1 to 10. A rating of 1 means, essentially, Yeah, that was a red flag — clearly an impersonator; and a rating of 10 means, essentially, Hey, that sounds real — good job, impersonator.