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 Some users argued he was outdated in his thinking and were quick to point out that Google has done a lot to help the media.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. government cheese

    Most people don't realize that the News Corps outlet in England that was wire tapping is a liberal outlet. Of course you would never find that info on Google.

    January 16, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • GOP Hates America

      liar keep watching fox make up facts when they get caught red handed.

      January 16, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • government cheese

      Try using the BBC instead of Google. Google tends to lean left and not reveal all information when the search engine is used.

      January 16, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Google... is a liberal outlet? You mean a search engine has political orientation? I didn't know that.. hahahahhaa... you mean you cannot find good things about Mitt Romney when you google? It's the very first time I hear about this.... hahahahahah.. if you start to believe in science.. maybe your brain will function better... imagine the truth you can find on Google.... Even Fox News googles... cheers!

      January 16, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      "government cheese: Try using the BBC instead of Google. Google tends to lean left and not reveal all information when the search engine is used."

      You mean Google actually doesn't do search only? They only publish information that leans left? Hmmmm.... or is it that you cannot face up the truth? Or scientific facts?

      Coming from a Libertarian.. a Huge Ron Paul supporter.. (and you know what i mean... trying to sideline Ron Paul! You conservative hypocrites....)...

      January 16, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Murdoch is a fraud and he should have his US citizenship revoked!

      January 16, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. SocialistZero

    Corporate fat cats are gonna keep pushing and pushing until they find there selves on the wrong end of a riot and no one is going to be there to help them.

    January 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. GOP Hates America

    he hates google because he knows he cant spread his phony news unchecked by the facts

    January 16, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. packo99

    Whay is a Billionaire doing on fooling around on Twitter while he should be watching what his corrupt employees are doing.

    January 16, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. tiara

    Murdoch... is he perchance a kettle calling the pot black? Just asking...

    January 16, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Eric

    As if this nut job has any credibility after wiretapping the phones of murder and kidnapping victims in England. What a disgrace! Calling himself a defender of freedom from "pirates". Ha! What a joke!

    January 16, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. fernace

    Is this the same Rupert Murdoch of last years biggest journalistic scandal!? I had to read his name several times to realize this wasn't a "nice" Murdoch we had somehow overlooked, who has a Right to complain! Nope, this is the same menace to society who thinks it's OK to hack, in the worst possible scenarios, as long as he reaps the rewards! Is he so out of touch w/the irreparable damage he & his company has caused, that he actually thinks people value his opinion!? I hope Twitter fans give him some of the he.ll he deserves!!

    January 16, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • glyder

      and the u.s. gov't will do their own hacking.not to worry though,it was a bi-partisan effort.the do nothing congress did do something.

      January 16, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. tokencode

    If Murdoch supports SOPA, I say boycott everything produced by News Corp. SOPA and ProtectIP are terrible pieces of legislation that could have grave unforseen consquences. Do you really want an organization who illegally accessed people's private information for profit to have any say in how the Internet works?

    January 16, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Filtered

    I'm so surprised that Murdoch would criticize Obama. His news agency (Fox) is so "fair and balanced" of its reporting about him.

    January 16, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Greg

    IIf Murdock likes this bill then you know it is a really BAD thing. Encourage everyone you know to support the killing of this bill.

    January 16, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. us1776

    This isn't about aligning with "pirates".

    It's about aligning with reality.

    You cannot expect websites to act as the agents of Hollywood. It's impossible to check every photo, blog, link that every user posts on these social media websites. Impossible.

    This is the job for Hollywood. They need to ramp up an army of searchers that find all this infringing stuff and then bring it to the attention of the social media websites and law enforcement. It's not the websites responsibility to do your enforcement job.

    .

    January 16, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. DinosaurKiller

    Rupert Murdoch is a tiled old dinosaur who refuses to recognize that his time is up and gracefully step out of the way. Instead, he'd rather keep throwing tantrums that clearly show that he has no place in the modern world.

    Also, films are risky? When was the last time Fox was behind any sort of "risky" film project? All of their movies are remakes of remakes, and if any show doesn't make enough money according to their formula, they cut the cord. The day Rupert Murdoch dies, there will be parties across the world!

    January 16, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Marc

    If Obama wants to win re-election a sure start would be to veto SOPA. That will energize his base.

    January 16, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Silly Baggers!

    Imagine that! Rupert calling somone else a "paymaster". The stones on this guy are really impressive.

    January 16, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. greg

    The important thing about Rupert Murdock is that he will have left the world a slightly different place for having been in it. He's been a real meddler. But how is he to be measured? Does he even think about it? I suppose he must. And what will he be remembered for, that he spread a lot of contempt? Not entirely fair, but it sounds right.

    January 16, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
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