Rupert Murdoch, Google, Obama and Twitter on a Saturday Night

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Saturday night, media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who’s new to Twitter and may not fully understand how permanent tweets can be and how broadly they can be distributed (which may, ultimately, be part of his problem – more on that in a minute) posted a barrage of accusations in 140 or less against President Obama and Google.

The gist of those tweets?  Murdoch is a huge supporter of the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) and accused the president of selling out to Silicon Valley money.  He then accused Google of being the world’s largest pirate enabler and of profiting from advertising sold alongside pirated content.  You can see Murdoch’s full list of tweets at this link.

Google, of course, responded by denying the accusations made against them and pointed out the millions of dollars they’ve spent and the man hours given by their company to stop piracy.  Without government legislation, it should be added.

The president, given he dignity of the office, probably won’t bother responding to these lame 140-or-less tirades from Murdoch.  If Obama does, I think it should be via a simple blog post that is then syndicated via Twitter.  Just to show Mr. Murdoch how it should be done.

Murdoch, for his part, has shown that he has a poor grasp of how social media works.  Sitting with your iPad and typing a barrage of tweets is.. well, not the right way to do it.  Twitter is meant for a quick exchange of ideas.  Those ideas, however, need to be expressed in one tweet – two at the very most.  Each tweet should stand alone and not require the tweets before it to be involved in the understanding of the micro-blog’s content.

In other words, Murdoch is doing it wrong.  His SOPA-endorsing tweets should have been compiled into a blog post and then the gist of that post plus a link tweeted instead.

In short, Murdoch has proven that the reason people like him support SOPA is that they are ignorant of how technology works.  I realize that piracy affects the bottom line of everyone in media – including myself, in fact – but it’s not something that can be dealt with with sweeping legislation that is poorly worded and which will dramatically change the Internet for the worse by stifling people’s use of it.

I would submit that if more media moguls like Murdoch were to embrace the Internet rather than try to fight it, they would be able to capture more revenue from it than they stood to lose from piracy.


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