Skip to main content

Twitter newbie Rupert Murdoch following fake account

Doug Gross, CNN
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has followed four users since joining Twitter this weekend -- and one's a fake.
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has followed four users since joining Twitter this weekend -- and one's a fake.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • News Corporation's Rupert Murdoch starts Twitter life by following fake "Larry Page"
  • The account resembles Google's Larry Page but is in fact part of a college project
  • So far, the media mogul is following four accounts on Twitter
  • Two of the four accounts Murdoch follows are tech CEOs

(CNN) -- Looks like it could take awhile for new Twitter user Rupert Murdoch to get the hang of things.

For starters, the 80-year-old media mogul, who signed up for Twitter over the New Year's holiday, might want to make sure the people he follows are real.

As of Monday, the oft-controversial Murdoch was following a grand total of four people on the social networking site. One of them, at first glance, appears to be Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page.

Except that it's not Larry Page but a parody account that's part of a university project.

"This is a fake account - part of a series created for @plaidavenger's class at Virginia Tech," the owner of the account tweeted Monday in reply to a follower asking about it after seeing an interaction with Murdoch. It wasn't clear Monday whether the News Corporation CEO was aware of the misunderstanding.

The Twitter chat started with "Plaid Larry Page" welcoming the magnate to the site. "Welcome @rupertmurdoch to Twitter! Could Google+ be next?" he wrote Sunday.

Murdoch's reply: "Maybe soon, but I'm getting killed for fooling around here and friends frightened what I may really say!"

Indeed. Less than a day into his Twitter tenure, Murdoch had been publicly chastised by what appeared to be his wife (fellow Twitter newbie Wendi Deng) for a tweet saying that "maybe Brits have too many holidays for [a] broke country."

He quickly backed down, deleting the tweet in question.

[UPDATE: Both Twitter and the account owner have acknowledged that the Deng account is a fake not really run by her. Twitter had mistakenly given the account "verified" status shortly after it was created.]

Murdoch tweets support for Rick Santorum

It's hard to figure out what to make of Murdoch's other three follows, other than that he appears to be taking his new venture into Web and social-media culture seriously. Some have ventured it's part of a "charm offensive" after a year in which he was embroiled in a phone-hacking controversy at his now-defunct "News of the World" newspaper.

Alan Sugar, a British magnate and reality-TV judge, as well as Twitter nemesis of CNN's own Piers Morgan, is one of them.

The other two are Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and Zynga CEO Mark Pincus -- the man behind such online time-killers as "FarmVille" and "Mafia Wars."

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT