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 Some users argued he was outdated in his thinking and were quick to point out that Google has done a lot to help the media.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

    What a dick. Somebody take the remote out of grampa's hands. He doesn't have a clue!

    January 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Clem Arbruster Bodog Castlenut, Jr.

    Settle Down, Double Ugly, and keep that psycho wife of yours on a leash.

    January 16, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Doc


    Instead of finding the source of the piracy (more than likely someone employed by the industry) or changing the security features of your merchandise (which would cost money for research and devlopment cutting into their profit) they'd rather have the gov't spend our money policing the internet. How about creating content at a reasonable price that we all feel is worth paying for? And how about locking up the Pirate captain for his role in raiding the email and phone accounts of all those people!

    January 16, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. notogop

    Now let me try to understand this. We need less government interference in our lives unless it benefits me directly. Is that the GOP position. Don't screw with my money, but I can screw with your private life ever how I see fit. Sounds fair and reasonable to me.

    January 16, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Just notice the hypocrisy, eh? Yeah, the GOP has grown the government each time they've been in office since 1900. Of course, to their and their cronies' benefit, driving us into debt, then blaming it on the next guy in office from the other side of the aisle who is really trying to fix the mess! FDR had the worst time cleaning up the house, Obama can barely scratch the surface. Yeah, it's all a Randian, "Me, me, me" with them until it comes time to clean up after the unapproved party at the parents' house, then it's finger pointing time.

      January 16, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yawn

      It is approved by the Republican party of God, what more do you need to know? Because their master has decided to be outspoken om this, you must obey,

      January 16, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. CPW

    And clearly he isn't happy that all of this is out there. It means a loss of money for him and his advertisers. Can you say BP. So sorry for your lose.....of money not life.

    January 16, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. klarg

    Foreigners, even rich foreigners, should keep their noses out of our laws. SOPA and Protect IP are both more about CONTROL than fairness.

    January 16, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. TomQPublic

    All this coming from the guy whose company cancelled Firefly. That alone makes his opinion invalid.

    January 16, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Rob

    I'm Sorry Mr. Murdoch, but you're due in court to discuss hacking into accounts... this way please...

    January 16, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. klarg

    I know Rupert is bureaucratically an American citizen – but that was a purely financial move on his part. He obviously doesn't get American values.

    January 16, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Canuck

    Hacking into dead teenager's voice mail shows so much class. This man should just stfu.

    January 16, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Gsry

    Careful Rupert, someone may hack your account and steal your personal information..... No wait, that's you M.O.

    January 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Skibum

    Sorry to feel sorry for a guy whose companies practice phone taps of victim's families and has an entertainment company masquarading as news. Just want to say to him. Mr Pot, meet Mr Kettle.

    January 16, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. GrogInOhio

    So... why is an Australian so fired up about American politics? Oh... cuz it makes him money to whine!

    January 16, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Eric of Reseda

    If this isn't PURE evidence that the most powerful media mogul in the world is WILDLY misinformed, I don't know what it! And THAT'S important since he makes business decisions vital to this country. FOX is evil. Now we know why. Ignorance puts forth a dark agenda, and Murdoch is CLEARLY, by his own admission, ignorant.

    January 16, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Soylent

    SOPA was nothing less than a push to remove user generated content from the Internet. A site could be blocked just because a single user posted copyrighted content. For example, if I reproduced a page of Lev Grossman's excellent novel "The Magicians" in this comment, and Lev objected, the government would shut down It's ridiculous.

    Media barons like Murdoch hate the freedom afforded by the Internet, and they want to turn it into something like tv or radio where you only access the stations/channels/sites that your media masters want to shovel down your throat. Even CNN got in on pushing for the bill with Anderson Cooper shilling for it on air. Why? They're a wholly owned subsidiary of Time Warner, as in Warner Brothers. Cantor just promised to quash the bill, so the American people won this one, but SOPA's twin brother PIPA is still in the Senate.

    Oh, and I posted this from my iPad and I can still type in complete sentences. Suck it, Rupert.

    January 16, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
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