‘Wendi Deng’ on Twitter: Should we have known?


What would the real Wendi Murdoch tweet? (CBS News)

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.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.

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