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 Some users argued he was outdated in his thinking and were quick to point out that Google has done a lot to help the media.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

    A fascist speaks. Obey him or the ghost of Lenin will make you suffer,

    January 16, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Patrick

    Sorry, I don't understand anything that come from the Murdochenfuehrer...it probably makes sense in its original German. When he shuts down his ministry of propaganda, then he has the right to comment on political issues, and not before.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Don Jones

    Rupert Murdoch is to Islam as Paul Joseph Goebbels was to Judaism

    January 16, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. antoine

    Why does Murdoch has such a major influence in American politics? HE IS A FOREIGNER!!!!. Where is the right denouncing his involvment? Are they too heavily indebted to him to where it would be political suicide? Come on right..."deport him out of our politics!!!"

    January 16, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Optus

    Optus will conquer all.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. sean

    You know what i hate more than google?... Supposed 'news outlets' that hack phones to gain access to voicemails and texts ilegal to fill newspapers with garbage celeb gossip. So in essence he is complaining about google stealing from him, when the news he is actually taking credit for is stolen already? riiiighhhht. Get a clue Murdoch. Your whole empire is paper driven, and destined to fail in the near future unless you get on the google bandwagon.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Chumlee

    Who cares? Murdock is a fraud who engages in illegal activities to get information that others get by lawful means.

    Murdock is a crook, and consumers should avoid/boycott all Murdock enterprises

    January 16, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Deej59

      We should care. We should keep an eye on everything this man does in the same way a mother robin watches the crows that eye her babies.

      January 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Brad

    SOPA does not in any way work in the interest of the people and just like DRM will hurt just as many, if not more legitimate users than those engaged in illegal piracy. In addition, I seriously doubt this will have any impact whatsoever on the amount of piracy even if its passed.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ATLmatt

    its nice that Rupert Murdoch can flaunt his crazy on twitter.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ben

    Mr. Murdoch's demonizing of Google only shows his complete lack of understanding of how the internet works. Furthermore, I find it sickening he's backing an industry that would sue and devastate families over file sharing only for the studio to gain merely what would be considered a drop in the bucket of their profits. If the movie and music industries really cared about copyright protection, they'd find better ways to secure their media.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. PatrickO

    Notice the uncanny resemblance of Murdoch and the emperor in Star Wars. Just about as evil, too.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Peter Wolfe

    Seriously people actually listen to this guy? However, I do think there will come a day that the internet will be regulated just when the infrastructure is more developed like in a decade. The main concern is security with iris scawns and fingerprinting technology on the horizon. ake me for example, i'm legally blind and most of the internet isn't still accessible 90% or more of it and the hypocritics at Google, apple and others could honestly careless and they speak the double language in accessibility. So, I do think the internet will be regulated if anything for language alone and to increase revenue. This is the last utterness of full capitalism in my opinion and the downwardness of the errand ways of development. Finally, this is a common theme that development over equit of opportunity fior billions of people come at the backs of the poor internationally and domestically.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. algernon

    IMO, FoxNews is the most divisive force in America – right-wing propaganda that is so beyond the pale it isn't news. I wish CNN would do more stories on Fox's nefarious ways. At least "Outfoxed" is now on netflix.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. George Jetson

    Stop it, Rupert. You're embarrassing yourself...

    January 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. pattyo27

    All I heard was "How dare you people keep the rich from getting richer!" This man has NO room to talk about piracy when his company is tapping phone lines of victims and their families for entertainment purposes. This guy is some piece of work.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
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