Man Utd defender Ferdinand shocked by FA Twitter charge
In the wake of John Terry's racism trial, Ferdinand responded to a Twitter comment that referred to Cole as a "choc ice".
A source told The Sun: "It is fair to say Rio is dumbfounded by this.
"He saw the tweet as a simple response to one of his followers rather than anything malicious and fears the FA is out of touch with modern-day social networking."
Rio could be hit with a ban if he is found guilty of the improper conduct charge - although a £20,000 fine is more likely.