What have we learned so far from Rupert Murdoch’s foray into Twitter? Exactly what most could have predicted: giving a cranky, octogenarian billionaire an outlet that can’t be censored is quite entertaining.
If Murdoch has his way, however, a black curtain could soon be coming to the Web and keep even the wealthiest of media moguls from having their say.
Despite being apparently smitten with the microbogging site as of late, Murdoch apparently doesn’t want to keep the Internet open for everyone. In a recent rant posted via a series of tweets, the News Corp. CEO came after US President Barack Obama for his position against both the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act. Under the proposed legislations of SOPA and PIPA, the World Wide Web will be greatly altered to filter Americans from accessing content found questionable by Congress. As a massive campaign to nix the law before it makes it to legislation swells, the White House announced over the weekend that the commander-in-chief will not be supporting the Acts.
Murdoch, who has pumped massive amounts into advancing the bills, doesn’t quite agree with Obama.
"So Obama has thrown in his lot with Silicon Valley paymasters who threaten all software creators with piracy, plain thievery," Murdoch tweeted over the weekend. "Piracy leader is Google who streams movies free, sells advts around them. No wonder pouring millions into lobbying."
Google, however, doesn’t quite see things the same way. Responding to the rant to the website CNET, a spokeswoman for Google calls Murdoch’s mad diatribe “nonsense” and adds, "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."
In his best crotchety, staunchly old man Twitter voice, Murdoch says Google has got it all wrong. After calling out the search giants for apparently coming close to destroying the entertainment industry, Murdoch shut up his naysayers by conducting a web query for a complimentary digital copy of the latest Mission: Impossible movie.
“Wow, several sites offering free links. I rest my case,” tweeted Murdoch.
RT decided to follow up and actually conducted our own Google search for free products. Could we find a copy of Mission: Impossible? Eventually. But we also found lots of free, no-questions-asked erectile dysfunction pills and complimentary iPads. Apparently our Web department was also the one-millionth visitor to a site we didn’t even try to get to so we expect the check is in the mail for that one too.
Since he is 80 years old, perhaps we can check say that Mr. Murdoch is far more venerable at Web surfing than all of us here, however, so maybe he does know what he’s talking about. He goes on to say note that, “Incidentally, Google blocks many other undesirable things.”
We were skeptic of that one too. A search of “how to make a bomb” turned up 1,080,000 results in 0.31 seconds.
A search for “really good show on Fox” yielded four.
The websites WikiPedia and Reddit are both preparing for a massive black-out campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of SOPA and PIPA this week. Other online campaigns have spurred massive protests across America so far.