Turns out that fun-but-not-funny fake Twitter account of Rupert Murdoch’s wife Wendi Deng wasn’t so carefree after all.
First there was the question over whether the Murdochs should sue Twitter because the fake account actually managed to be verified albeit for only three days. But this whole verification snafu highlights a similar problem that is probably all too familiar to News Corps and Murdoch. Hollywood Reporter details the problem:
News Corp. itself is currently being sued by an individual named Julie Riggs who ran a celebrity verification service called “Celebrity Guardian Angel,” which suffered after going toe-to-toe with the giant corporation over a Johnny Depp impostor on MySpace.
Riggs had a MySpace page that verified whether celebrity accounts were real or not. Before Twitter launched its own service, Riggs was a pioneer in offering badges so celebrities could show they were who they said they were. But when she flagged a Depp poser on MySpace and the impostor complained, MySpace deleted her account. Then, MySpace introduced its own celebrity verification service, leading Riggs to sue.
Ruh-roh. Well, that’s one good reason why the Murdochs should probably just let this issue trot off into obscurity. 2011 certainly was the best year for PR for the corporation given that whole phone-hacking scandal that resulted in the complete window-shuttering of News of the World. Maybe the Murdochs should take a similar route of action and, like NofW, just shut down this story altogether so nobody else comes a-knocking about that eye-sore of a lawsuit they’re dealing with concerning the MySpace verification services.
Then again, who knows. News Corp. hasn’t really developed the reputation of shying away from controversy of, well, anything, so maybe they will sue Twitter over the fake Wendi Deng account. What do you think? Think they’ve got a case here and, if so, should they pursue it? Or should they try to make sure that 2012 is a recovery year for News Corp.’s PR? Comment below!