Anybody can make a Twitter profile. Hell, animals can – my own cat has a Twitter account. He made it himself. I didn’t help him at all. I swear.
But with celebrities wanting to connect with their audiences, Twitter had to come up with a way users could know that Ashton Kutcher’s Twitter profile was the real thing, and not one of the hundreds of fake handles Joe Blow in his mom’s basement created. So Twitter came up with the “verified account” so that you could rest easy in the knowledge that when Ashton tweets he’s eating a burger you know, for a fact, he’s eating a burger.
Well, like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and “reality” TV, all fantasies come to an end. We now know that just because Twitter says an account is verified, that doesn’t mean it’s real.
Wendi Deng is the wife of media mogul Rupert Murdoch. She had been on Twitter for a short time and had one of those verified accounts. Only now we know that it wasn’t Wendi at all. The fake “verified” account fooled everyone, including people at Fox News, owned by Murdoch, which had quoted from the fake Twitter feed believing it was real.
Twitter has now admitted they made a mistake and have apologized to everyone.
So who was behind the fake Wendi Deng account? Nobody knows yet. But I’ll bet you a paycheck it was my cat.