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 Some users argued he was outdated in his thinking and were quick to point out that Google has done a lot to help the media.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

    Music was much better when there weren't big corporations to take all the oxygen out of the industry and so were films.

    January 16, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yawn

      What universe do you live in? Big corporations have always run the music and film biz.
      There was this guy named Edison....

      January 16, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Demo Joseph

    Why are giving this b.....d a voice?

    January 16, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Demo Joseph

    Why are we giving this b.....d a voice?

    January 16, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Roland

    Rupert is hilarious. "I'm old and irrelevant and mad as hell". He's like a cross between Grandpa Simpson and Dick Cheney. "Hey you kids... get off my lawn".

    January 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geoz

      Also the man behind the mask in every Scooby-Do episode. "Old Man Murdoch! You were the demon the whole time! Oh my gosh!"

      January 16, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Silas Scarborough

    Maybe he got tired of hacking the cellphones of dead girls

    January 16, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      Do what I do, read Fox news, note the advertisers and call them up and tell them you are boycotting their products because they advertise with Rupert Murdoch. Do the same with Fox TV, enjoy his empire while you pull the legs off. If enough people boycott his advertisers AND let them know why they are doing it, we can cut off his cash supply or at least diminish it. He is nothing but a dangerous wannabe Dictator himself, he has done more damage to the concept of "Free Press" than any despotic dictator ever has done. Dictator's typically shut down the press, while Rupert forces his news people to push his twisted perspectives on us all. I would rather they just shut down than deceive us!

      January 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. doodlebug

    I think that Murdoch perhaps should talk to someone who is impartial on this topic and get both sides of the issues – clear and unbiased. Sometimes we only hear one or two people's intrepretations of what is going on and we jump on it angry and wanting to do something... The thing is, it is best to really understand what you are sticking your neck out for, before you ... stick your neck out. Believe what you hear with your own ears, see with your own eyes and observe for yourself.

    January 16, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Professor Trollworth

    He hates it because he's old.

    January 16, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Meestor Yay

    Alright, Citizen Kane, calm the eff down........ The *copyright* laws established to "protect the writer" are almost aaalllways made for the benefit the movie studio / record label / or whoever; i.e. – slime balls who don't pay the writers and artists fairly anyway...... This guy is just mad he can't have a monopoly over publishing platforms, since the internet is pretty much public domain... What a slime ball. What's he written? What song does he sing? What movie does he act in? These people need phased out.

    January 16, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bob

    Let's see if we got this straight. This disgusting old man, Murcoch, whose company hacked cell phones and stole messages to sell his sleazy, disgusting right-wing tripe, is whining because the Internet doesn't like censorship?

    What an impotent, incompetent old has-been.

    January 16, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Meestor Yay

      "Rosebud... Rosebud... Rosebud..."

      January 16, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Goodlord!

    He's worried about piracy, yet he hacks the phones of dead victims to gather content to help sell his crappy faux newspapers. Yeah, that clown is a real moral beacon.

    January 16, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dkhhuey

    Ahhh... is poor wittle Rupert throwing a tantrum cause he didn't get his way!!! Although I would never wish ill will on this pox on society – I will smile broadly the day I read his obit!!!

    January 16, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm yeah

    I cant stand Rupert Murdoch. He deserves any lawsuits or fines coming to him, however, theyre amounts are just a drop in the bucket. The story of another crooked millionaire that cares only about money.

    January 16, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. MagnumPIE

    Who would possibly care what this POS thinks? His companies have been caught bugging ordinary citizens in order to sell more tabloid trash. The sooner he dies and burns in he|| the happier I'll be.

    January 16, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. me again

    One of the most unfortunate aspects of Rupert Murdoch is that after he dies his accursed empire of hate and ignorance will live on through the army of armchair zombies he has created.

    And on and on and on....

    January 16, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Just.The.Facts

    He's worried about piracy, yet he hacks the phones of dead victims and many others to gather content to help sell his crappy faux newspapers. Yeah, that clown is a real moral beacon.

    January 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
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