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 Some users argued he was outdated in his thinking and were quick to point out that Google has done a lot to help the media.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

    "Film making is risky as hell" I thought you were a capitalist, Rupy? Isn't your business dictated by market? Isn't the first rule of capitalism "To profit, change with the market?". 95% of the movies that are being produced are complete crap. Why? Money is poured into production. Money is poured into the pockets of actors and agents. The actual story is the last thing on the movie producer's agenda. Almost everything that comes out of Hollywood is formulaic rehashed tripe. Here is an idea: Spend less on the actors and production and more on the WRITERS. Even George Lucas knew (at one time) that story was the most important aspect of a movie.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lakerat

    Obviously nursey was late to empty his bedpan, also he hadn't been burped in a while and was feeling a little grumpy this morning.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jim

    If Murdoch is for something you know you should be against it.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      well said

      January 16, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Peter

    So the guy who organized hacking into people's personal lives now cares about ethics? Is he afraid he might only make 1 gazillion dollars this year instead of 1.00000000001 gazillion because someone downloaded his property?

    January 16, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. coder

    strange how much money and self righteous empowerment will change a human being into rupert murdoch

    January 16, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. joey

    The family of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler have been offered nearly £3m by Rupert Murdoch's News International as the company tries to draw a line under the single most damaging incident in the phone-hacking scandal.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. vikingsprimetime

    I agree with Rupert, and disagree with 123 out of 124 of you all. Talk about a one sided forum for "ideas"...

    January 16, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • HanzJager

      Rupert is this you? effin Troll.

      January 16, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yawn

      Ailes loves you for saying that. Your Xmas bonus will be good this year. What courage! Took some balls to utter that truth in a fair and balanced manner. I must vow under oath, just like Richard Nixon, Rupert is not a crook. And if Rupert was a crook, he would be pardoned as many times as needed to make him RIGHT. Lenin and Goebbel are calling, must go.

      January 16, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Professor Hubert J Farnsworth

    Rupert Murdoch is Australia's payback for making Paul Hogan their national stereotype.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. loerne

    seriously WHO CARES WHAT MURDOCH THINKS!!!

    HE SHOULD BE IN JAIL

    January 16, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susan Booth

      Agreed!

      January 16, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reggie from LA

      Agreed, also!!
      Lock his monkey-a$$ up!!

      January 16, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. fedupwu

    Rupert go and climb back underneath your rock. Why don't you go and find another school yard victim's family to make miserable. You and your kind are disgusting, I may not be money rich, but I can at least look myself in the mirror and don't have to lie to myself.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bill

    This is not about internet piracy.
    Mr. Murdoch is desperately trying to deflect the wrath of the public from himself and his
    organization for their newspaper phone and internet hacking scandal in Britain.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. GBfromOhio

    Isn't this the guy who is being investigated for illegal phone tapping by his media outlets? Man, I guess it takes a lot of nerve, denial and hypocricy to be a politically biased news mogul.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Hugh Jass

    Wouldn't it be ironic if somebody hacked his twitter account?

    January 16, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • lewtwo

      did you mean "wonderful" ?

      January 16, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jeezlouise

    Hollywood has done it to themselves- all celebs are awful. They are so overexposed, I cannot take them seriously in films- the writers are ripping off everything from the past and remaking it because they have nothing new. We are not duped by political scammers now courting Hollywood either. Any government control of the web is to control the content that is against the administrations agenda.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jason

    Typical Fox mentality. Isn't he rich enough? Like many owner-class types he wants to live in a bubble, never having to see or touch anything about the world besides the cash coming into the till. I bet he thinks it's everyone's responsibility to make a living, even unemployed poor people, that it's not the government's place to give handouts. But the same government is supposed to sweep a few more coins his way by supporting this oppressive legislation.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
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