It hasn’t been a good week for Rupert Murdoch and News International.
On Monday the Fox News Politics account was hacked on Twitter. And on Thursday, the world (and Twitter) was rocked by the announcement that the 168-year old News Of The World newspaper would be closing its doors forever, after being unable to refute claims that the paper authorised hacking into the mobile phones of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler and the families of 7/7 bombing victims, amongst thousands of others.
The final issue of the News Of The World has been published today. And perhaps fittingly, the publication’s sister paper, The Sun, was been ‘hacked’ on Twitter, with the hijacker using the platform to send a supportive message to the News Of The World, while attacking those who they perceived helped bring about its downfall.
Late last night, @sun_politics sent out this message to its 2,989 Twitter followers:
“#Notw – RIP, a loss to 1st class journalism. Ed Miliband, Guardian and BBC: how proud you must be of your work.”
The tweet was quickly picked up and shared by hundreds of users, including parody account @RupertMurdochPR.
@sun_politics quickly moved to delete the message, before sending an explanatory update, which read, “Please ignore last tweet from this account re NotW – not authorised, and not the paper or its political team’s opinion. Has been deleted.”
The hijacking received a mixed reaction from fans (click to enlarge).
No further information has been revealed about the exploit, but it seems probable that this was the work of a begrudged (and now possibly ex-) employee, rather than a bonafide hacker. Still, it’s probably the last thing News International wanted to happen today.
It will be a long time until this story finally plays out, and inevitably more scandal and corruption will materialise in the weeks to come. But one thing is for certain – you can be sure that ‘hack’ isn’t a very popular word in the Murdoch household this morning.