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How Rupert Murdoch was taken in by a Larry Page fake on Twitter

By Noel Young | Correspondent

January 4, 2012 | 3 min read

The mystery of why Rupert Murdoch apparently abruptly discontinued his Twitter conversation with Google CEO Larry Page has been solved .

The account , Plaid_Page , which Rupert had listed as one of six he was following when he first embarked on Twitter, is a fake , Google has confirmed to The Drum . "It was created as part of a series by a student at Virginia Tech," said Google UK spokesman Stephen Rosenthal.

Plaid_Page had suggested in an early tweet that Rupert might try Facebook rival Google+. The News Corp chief responded : "Maybe soon, but I'm getting killed for fooling around here and friends frightened what I may really say!"

Rupert Murdoch

Later Plaid_ Page tweeted, after Rupert changed his picture, " I like the new photo @rupertmurdoch, but I think this one is an even better avatar" - along with a cartoon image of Rupert

Maybe one of his lieutenants tipped off Rupert that he had been taken in. The Plaid_page link promptly vanished.

But the tycoon was undeterred .By yesterday afternoon US Time @rupertmurdoch was up to 105,000 followers and his "following" list had grown to 11. Two women he had anointed the previous day were quickly despatched along with the fake Larry . New names were introduced : right-win pol Eric Cantor, WSJ columnist Peggy Noonan, website Allthings D, plus company stalwarts Fox News, the WSJ and the New York Post and his iPad newspaper The Daily.

He even tweeted an exposé by The Daily:

* RUBBER STAMP VISAS: Congress to probe our exclusive immigration exposé bit.ly/xzoEzq

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On Iowa he said of Ron Paul:

* Paul too extreme, but right to draw attention toFed. Printing zillions can only cause inflation - the coward's way out of this mess.

On Santorum, he tweeted:

* Well, well! Values DO count. Santorum result pretty amazing. Policy very similar to Reagan. Now start to sound like him."

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