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 Some users argued he was outdated in his thinking and were quick to point out that Google has done a lot to help the media.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

    It's real simple media creators/providers... if you don't like your stuff getting ripped off, present it in a better way. Part of the reason people look at pirated stuff is cause they don't wanna pay $20 for a movie ticket/popcorn/soda and they don't wanna wait 10-20 wks for it on DVD/NETFLIX. I'd pay 5 bucks a stream WITH COMMERCIALS if i could watch a new movie at home and I bet A LOT of people would do the same..... apple figured it out with itunes... I guess big media is slower, fatter, dumber, greedier.... first one on board gets to sit in first class... USE YOUR NOGGIN RUPERT!!!!!

    January 16, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Friends Don't Let Friends Vote Republican

    Rupert Murdoch is a pathetic waste of oxygen.

    January 16, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. DDanny1

    The man who owns the media conglomerate that was hacking cellphones to get news stories is outraged that people are downloading things that doesn't belong to them? Wow. I would bet anything that if you could get the truth out of him he would say that's different, because he should not have to obey the "commoners" laws. He's a kingmaker.

    January 16, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Spot on.

      January 16, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Friends Don't Let Friends Vote Republican

      BINGO!

      January 16, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. tom tilas

    Maybe Rupert Murdoch has a problem with people being able to verify or " truth check" his media empires bias...I have found GOOGLE a great vehicle to determine the facts from fiction...Especially when it comes from FOX News....Rupert and his empire are being out foxed by the internet and he is just a cry baby...he should have seen it coming and made the right investments...Sorry Rupert ...you are losing your touch...Time for you and your sons to retire....There are a couple of young guys from Google, You Tube and Facebook that could take over your empire......There is a new day dawning and you will not be part of it !!!!

    January 16, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bobden

    Brainwashed viewers? To be brainwashed, they must have a brain.
    Most fox viewers don't seem to.

    January 16, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Pleasdonthackmyemailforprofit

    "waaaa!!! My organizations hack into people private lives but if someone takes something from from me it isn't fair!"

    January 16, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bob

    Murdoch has always hated Google because all you have to do is type in "Tea Party created by Fox" and you instantly have dozens of Youtube videos showing how Fox News created phony news reports about the "grass roots" movement at the behest of Murdoch. They used footage from union rallies and passed them off Tea Party rallies and you also have videos showing Tea Party rally members being bused on Fox-owned buses, being handed pre-made signs by Fox News staffers and being led in chants for the camera by Fox News producers. Murdoch (much like his idle William Randolph Hearst) created a fake political movement to sell his media empire and influence politics. So anything that allows people to pull back the curtain and see Murdoch's decrepit face pulling the strings goes on his enemies list.

    January 16, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Gracie

    Google doesnt stream movies for free, its the people that UPLOAD THEM that do lmao. Wow, this guy is so out of touch with this stuff. He needs to just shut up about it.

    January 16, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bob

    BTW, Rupert, just die already. Those organ transplants from third world "donors" will only work for so long. I hope your heir has been well-trained because he'll be needed soon. Tick tock.

    January 16, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bill

    He should tweet this: "Hollywood out of original ideas, no creativity left, nothing but re-hashed garbage, so we need to rip you all off more than ever!" .......or would that be too many characters??

    January 16, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mike from iowa

    Rupert: "Piracy leader is Google who streams movies free, sells advts around them. No wonder pouring millions into lobbying." Duh, google does not stream any content. Google provides search results, other websites that stream video place ads around their own content, it has nothing to do with Google.

    Rupert, why dont you go back to spying on citizens and bribing police to gain access to private cell phone data. That's the sort of thing you do best. You are evil, and need to hurry up and die.

    January 16, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. mike from iowa

    The real reason Rupert hates Google is because Google represents a threat to someone who wants to control the flow of information. Before the Internet, people like Repuert could control what everyone had access to, but Google's mighty search engine has changed all that. Information is Power, and the mega-billionaires like Rupert are desperate to control that information. Rupert's kind are against what our Founding Father's stood for, Rupert's kind are against freedom and the concept that "all men are created equal". Rupert and his ilk are evil.

    January 16, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. idiot

    Murdoch should get back to changing his adult diapers instead of trying to figure out this newfangled internet thing...

    January 16, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bonesbone

    Her's mad because he don't own it...

    January 16, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JimmySD

    Wait..

    I thought that the Repugnant party was supposed to be about LESS regulation.

    January 16, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
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