New Twitter user, Rupert Murdoch, has been busily cramming his support for the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) into 140 characters. His advocacy for SOPA is a thinly disguised scheme to squeeze out more profits for his company at the expense of free speech and a vibrant, innovative Internet environment. His latest use of social media to advance his personal interests began with a Tweet aimed at President Obama:
Now Murdoch is attacking “Silicon Valley paymasters” as thieves. Whatever happened to the valiant, capitalist, entrepreneurs who represented the high principles of free market patriotism? All that goes away if you challenge Murdoch’s control over any aspect of his perceived empire. And Google has long been an enemy of Murdoch’s. His next Tweet targets Google directly for advertising and lobbying:
This is an ironic complaint since it is pretty much the News Corp business model. Murdoch’s Fox Nation is almost entirely comprised of “stolen” content. He aggregates news stories from other sources, slaps his logo on them, and sells his advertising. As for lobbying, Since 2003 News Corp has spent about $45 million dollars on lobbying – twice what Google has spent. Murdoch’s frenzy to out spend, and out maneuver, Google must be having an effect on his mental state, because this next Tweet descends into incoherence:
Well, who isn’t angry at Optus (the second largest telecommunications company in Australia)? Like most telecom entities it is just another giant corporate … oh … Hang on there. Apparently Murdoch meant POTUS (President of the United States). But that doesn’t make any sense because the only people angry with Obama over SOPA are the opponents of the bill. Maybe backing censors and opponents of free speech is another of the frequent miscalculations by Murdoch. He would be well advised to defer to Obama who recently addressed this issue saying:
“We will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global internet.”
But if Murdoch wants to continue supporting SOPA and Tweeting his lame, self-serving thoughts on the matter, the Internet community will welcome his participation in a free and open dialog, even though he wouldn’t return the favor.