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 Some users argued he was outdated in his thinking and were quick to point out that Google has done a lot to help the media.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

    Murdoch embodies two reoccuring GOP themes. Hate and control over others. He has however, created the epitome of the 21st century's version of the "Ministry of Propoganda" also known as FOX News.

    January 16, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • spars

      i just want to know, what "undesirable" things rupert was searching for that google actually blocks... maybe the FBI should look into this

      January 16, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • namethename

      I am with Murdoch on that one. Stealing is not a good thing. I don't care how much you love or dislike Murdoch or Obama.

      January 16, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • stop sopa

      if crap like this starts getting passed we will just have to build another internet

      January 16, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Felix

    If sopa had passes, is there even a Twitter? How would Murdoch complain then?

    January 16, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. gilberto kuhn

    Murdock should get a life.....do some charitable work...

    January 16, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • MattC

      Well, first things first, Murdoch is a Lich who survives by destroying the lives of others and sucking up what remains, so good luck pushing that agenda.

      Secondly, he went to the Ayn Rand School of Charity, so again, good luck pushing either agenda.

      January 16, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. NotTheGOP

    Shouldn't he be worrying about which murder victim's voicemail his news reporters are hacking today?

    January 16, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ryan

    as if you need another reason to hate murdoch and his neocon faux news network

    January 16, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Buttman3000

    Hahaha

    I guess it isn't surprising that such an old fellow doesn't understand how Google works.

    January 16, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Susan

    Murdoch is very honest man. He supervised the highly ethical phone hacking journalism in UK and here runs a very credible and honest news organization, called Fox News.
    He also is a very nice man who is still researching for a great charity to sponsor. God is waiting for him.

    January 16, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • js

      tee hee

      January 16, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yawn

      Actually God is not waiting. But his father, Vlad Lenin, is.

      January 16, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • JMM

      Hopefully he and God will meet soon. Like tomorrow......

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

    If murdoch didn't have so much money (other peoples?), he would be in prison. Of course, if he wasn't so wealthy, he wouldn't be able to do the rotten things that he does.

    January 16, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Former Republican - Now Independent

    If this sleeze-ball is against Obama, it almost makes me want to vote for Barack out of sheer spite.

    January 16, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. nic

    lolz, silly guy. i wonder if he actually clicked on any of those pirate links. its 99.99% spam. I can find plenty of links to free money and ipads on google but that doesn't mean they are real. This guy owns like half of the media in the world, but i guess its never enough if there's more to be had.

    January 16, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Durundal

    I really cant wait until they plant that troll in the ground. SOPA is an all around bad idea that at will negatively effect citizens, businesses and create further impediments to innovation and development all so that the RIAA can coast a little bit longer and squeeze a couple extra nickels worth of profit. And the funny thing is, that based on the republicans reported distaste for managing the market, I am dumbstruck that so many of them are for these new laws. Sure you nab a couple of small time pirates, but it is not something you can effectively control unless you are willing to erode the freedoms of every single american and ram your hand up the anus of the economy and start playing it like a puppeteer.

    January 16, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bob Dobbs

    Damn, Sandusky is looking older by the day. Boo this man!

    January 16, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. F-ck sopa

    My name is all i got to say

    January 16, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. John

    Guess Rupe likes big government regulation now......too bad his media network hates it. Sounding a bit like John Kerry there Rupe, first you were against big government helping the middle and lower class out...now you are "for" it.

    January 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. FOX NEWS = BIG MOUTH FOR GOP

    Fox is great at sensational entertainment but how many dumb Americans rely it for "real" news is sad reflection on the quality of many of our people. There needs to be a oversight watchdog and fine them everytime they pass a twisted commentary as news.

    January 16, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
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