Murdoch launches Twitter tirade against Obama, Google over online piracy
Rupert Murdoch, seen at Sunday's Golden Globe Awards, went to bat for his companies on Twitter in the battle against Internet piracy.
January 16th, 2012
11:23 AM ET

Murdoch launches Twitter tirade against Obama, Google over online piracy

Rupert Murdoch didn't waste any time using his newfound popularity on Twitter to make waves and take shots at some other major names.

His targets? President Barack Obama and Google.

The media mogul took aim at the president and the leading Internet search engine after the White House announced over the weekend that it would not support legislation mandating changes to Internet infrastructure to fight online copyright and trademark infringement. The White House statement came in response to two petitions circulating on the Internet as well as widespread comments across the Web about the dangers of the legislation.

A major online backlash has developed regarding the Stop Online Piracy Act, with everyone from lawmakers to Web freedom advocates to some of technology's biggest players calling it a greedy and dangerous overreach that could have a chilling effect on free speech and innovation. Google, Yahoo and Facebook are among the Web heavyweights who have joined the chorus against SOPA, which backers hope to have ready for a vote by the end of the year.

The combination of Google and Obama attacking the bill clearly didn't make Murdoch happy. He began unleashing his frustration on Twitter by attacking Obama's relationship with so-called "Silicon Valley paymasters."

Naturally, Murdoch has a dog in the SOPA fight too his massive media empire. No doubt he doesn't care for all the websites where users can watch and download episodes of his company's TV shows and movies without ever subscribing or paying.

And clearly he isn't happy that all of this is out there. It means a loss of money for him and his advertisers. And for that, Murdoch squarely blames Google.

For his remarks, Murdoch took a bit of a beating on Twitter, where most people are advocates of an open Web without government control. Some users argued he was outdated in his thinking and were quick to point out that Google has done a lot to help the media.  Some said it was foolish to criticize a search engine for having links available in its search. Users swung back at Murdoch that you can't complain about what a search engine's results turn up.

So Murdoch changed his tactic a bit, trying to humanize the issue.

For many users on Twitter, that didn't go over well either. Now, thousands of people tweeted, all of a sudden Murdoch was coming to the aid of the little guy?

So Rupert, still in his tweeting infancy, wanted to make clear he didn't have only bad things to say about Google.

That was, apparently, until he went back to the search engine and took a look at what was out there for the new "Mission Impossible" film. He saw the results as evidence that his anger toward Google was warranted.

He then admitted that while he may not understand completely all details and nuances of the fight and Google's role, he did know enough to know he didn't like what he saw.

So what did the search engine giant think of the media mogul's Twitter allegations? A representative told CNET it was "nonsense." 

"Last year we took down 5 million infringing Web pages from our search results and invested more than $60 million in the fight against bad ads. ... We fight pirates and counterfeiters every day," the spokeswoman told CNET.

Murdoch never quite clarified whether he'd like the search engine to do more to take those links down, or if he perhaps wished companies like his could play more of a role in asking for something to be taken down if it infringed upon their copyright.

But his fight continued, culminating at perhaps the  perfect time: the day of the Golden Globes. As fans tweeted their thoughts on who was going to win and shared their excitement to see the best of the best in the industry, Murdoch turned back to those very people to show that piracy was a real danger to Hollywood.

He ended with a shot at Obama, asking why he would align himself with the "pirates" who help push illegal content online. (Murdoch later clarified that in this tweet he had an autocorrect issue on his iPad and had clearly meant to reference POTUS, the president of the United States, instead of the name of an Australian company.

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Filed under: Movies • Music • Rupert Murdoch • Showbiz • TV
soundoff (403 Responses)
  1. BOMBO ©

    I thought he was in jail. No. Wait. He's rich. My mistake.

    January 16, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Adrian

      Depending on the sins you'd like to see Murdoch and Co. suffer for, it would seem that if one wants him and News Corp. to fail, one wants the enrite current industry to fail, as well. Propping up not just old, but truly obsolete, business models should never be rewarded regardless of the perceived quality of their content. Because the business model can no longer help but taint that content directly or indirectly. Whether it be for fear of backlash from advertisers, or concern over possible litigation, or simply the inability to respond with the swiftness the 21t century now requires of information outlets, journalism needs to change, and change drastically. It will. Regardless of whether or not Disney, News Corp., or the rest of the conglomerates follow, it may very well be unavoidable. The only thing that has even a chance at stopping it, is the issue of net neutrality and its stepchild of metered bandwidth consumption for consumers and content providers.

      August 11, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. BOMBO ©

    They have those "From Around the Web" recommended stories just above the comments, but they keep rotating them out every time you re-load the page. Here's one about Darth Vader being tased and pepper sprayed that I just had to click on before it disappeared.

    http://deathstarpr.com/2012/01/breaking-darth-vader-tasered-and-pepper-sprayed-in-florida/

    January 16, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jazzy

    Thanks BOMBO© , LMAO

    January 16, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. Fayemisi

    Murdoch is killing decent and honest Journalism. He has invaded the lives of crime victims, whistleblowers, lawyers just to make a buck. I couldn't care less about his fight to preserve copyright on his right-wing b.s. info-tainment contents. If he won't rot in jail, at least let's see him lose some money, which is the only thing he cares about.

    January 16, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Lizzie

      Please explain decent and honest jouralism. It went out the window when so-called journalists became cheerleaders for the present administration. Being biased and onesided is not what I would call honest or decent.

      January 16, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Lizzie -lol. I guess you should go watch Fox. lollolololol Ahhhhhhhhhaaaa hhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

      January 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • adam

      @Lizzie: Wow, either you are very young or have no memory. Honest journalism left after Cronkite really. Fox News "fair and balanced" is anything but. They are Right to the extreme. CNBC is left, but doesn't have the following of Fox. NPR is the largest one on the left, but they are radio and losing out. Murdoch has influenced slanted reporting and really the right rubbish is played far more than left rubbish. CNN used to be moderate but their quality of journalism has tanked. I go to the BBC for outside perspective. If you look at what makes news, for the most part, the democrats are constantly attacked. It is hard to get fair news period, but the right really started it, and it began with ENTERTAINERS like Limbaugh who somehow got serious, and Murdoch and his Fox News

      January 16, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Get Real

      Yeah Lizzie, when the press were cheerleaders for the Bush administration it was the golden age of journalism. *rolls eyes*

      January 16, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • WatchDawg

      If I recall correctly it was President Reagan who abolished the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 that has lead to where we are today...giving the likes of Murdoch et al to lie without consequence to the American public...

      January 16, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yawn

      Lizzard! Do not talk that way about Rupert's favorite toady, demi god Ailes. The righteous Ailes shoe'd in Nixon, making tricky dick POTUS and more human like. It is not Fox's fault watergate was discovered. Go watch FOX and obey WSJ, all is forgiven.

      January 16, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. s kel

    when is this old goat gonna croke.

    January 16, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  6. Scottish Mama

    I find it hilariously funny and ironic that the man who hijacked a murdered girls phone messages, countless actors and actresses, and the prince of Wales injury, just to get a story, is crying piracy, omg, is he a nut or what?

    January 16, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Samet

      Incidentally, it looks like this lot have been rehoused often/recently enoguh for the police to be concerned about pointless attacks* on more than one house in the area. A real headache, not helped by tabloid nonsense.(*Some people throw bricks instead of laying flowers.)

      August 11, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Scottish Mama

    Hello Mr. s kel. Did Baltimore win? I saw some of the game. Then started working around and did not get back to the game.

    January 16, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  8. Scottish Mama

    @Fay-you are correct. Keep the internet FREE. Don't touch this!

    January 16, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  9. Sherry Michaels

    Nice talk from a man of low scriuples. Murdoch became a dynastic, near monopolistic holder over free press, trampled people's rights to privacy, then complains about someone else's trampling those rights? He may have freedom of speech, but I don't have to buy his drivel.

    January 16, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. Martina

    so let me get this straight, google providing an open and free internet, is the lowest of the low according to Mr. Murdoch, but listening in to private voicemails, so that his papers could sell more copies, and make him more money was ok for years until the public outcry. Mr. Murdoch should be in jail, not at the golden globes!!!

    January 16, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Brian

    If Rupert had actually clicked on those "free streaming" pages he's have seen that most of them are scams to download malware on your computer, which then (might) route you to Amazon to pay to download the movie. It's actually pretty hard to find free streaming movies which don't damage your computer if you don't know already know where to look.

    January 16, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fiveyoushi

      If only he had clicked those, could you imagine the delight of the person who put those links up when he/she found out the computer that was infected was his? He's probably got a huge security suite but still, one can dream.

      PS- Am I the only one who first thought "Umad" shortly after reading this article?

      January 16, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. iTALIAN NONNO

    This guy Murdoch runs a criminal empire of shoddy and destructive journalism,.. so why doesn't he just shut up. Deport him to the outbacks of Australia,.. and let him preach to the Kangaroos and scorpions.

    January 16, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • geggyg

      We dont want him here in australia either

      January 16, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Scottish Mama

    Now Italian N. I wouldn't wish that on a Kangaroo or scorpions.

    January 16, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Paul

    What Rupert really wants is government protection so that he can make more money. Could it be he is a closet Socialist who wants government intervention in free markets when he personally can further enrich himself?

    January 16, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yawn

      He is a god. We merely exist to serve his whims.

      January 16, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Clarkson

    Very interesting how this man keeps attacking obama about his "paymasters"
    considering almost the entire congress is on the paylist of the media moguls.

    January 16, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
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