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Rupert Murdoch and 'unverified' missus in Twitter tangle

Media mogul's account is real, Wendi_Deng is not

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Updated Despite his former disdain for the internet, media mogul Rupert Murdoch has joined the Twitterati, apparently with his wife in tow.

The verified Twitter account of Murdoch started issuing opinions on New Year's Eve – addressing such diverse topics as American politics, the latest book he read, and what he thought of Steve Jobs' biography.

The first tweets called The Rational Optimist a "great book", but said Steve Jobs' biography was "interesting but unfair", adding that the "family must hate" it. Murdoch has already clocked up over 85,000 followers, but his own taste in tweeters is a bit more select – the News Corp emperor is only following six people on the micro-blogging site.

Some of the chosen few are media-related tweeters, including editor-in-chief of The New York Observer Elizabeth Spiers, and Kym Fox, a journalism professor at Texas State University. But Murdoch is also embracing social networking outright, following Zynga CEO Mark Pincus and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey.

Rounding out the elite six are Lord Alan Sugar and blogger the Plaid Avenger.

A Twitter account for Wendi Deng Murdoch has also popped up, with frequent references to hubbie Rupert. A Guardian report said a News Corporation spokesman confirmed that the account is genuine*.

The tweets range from playful jibes to her 'husband'...

@rupertmurdoch teasing me saying he got people following him more quickly than me!! HES SO CHEEKY!!!!

...to playful flirtation with other well-known celebs:

@rickygervais i think you look HOT ricky!!! (sssh don't tell @rupertmurdoch!)

However, the account-holder also warned Murdoch to delete a potentially insulting tweet from his feed, which has now disappeared from there, but is still in the 'Wendi Deng' account-holder's feed as a tweet replied to.

Murdoch had said: "Maybe Brits have too many holidays for broke country!", which was perhaps a little ill-judged considering his notoriety in the UK over the phone-hacking scandal.

Luckily, 'Wendi Deng Murdoch' was there to tweet:

EVERY1 @rupertmurdoch was only having a joke pROMSIE!!!

®

Update

* Graun tech reporter Josh Halliday has since revealed that News International has called out the 'Wendi_Deng' account-holder as an 'imposter'. The Wendi Deng account has also confirmed that it is indeed a fake despite being briefly verified by Twitter.

A Twitter spokesman told El Reg: "We don't comment on individual accounts or the verification process."

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