Rupert Murdoch takes to Twitter

Published January 3, 2012

Rupert Murdoch (R) and his son, appear in images made from television as they are questioned by parliamentary committee on phone hacking at Portcullis House in London July 19. – Reuters File Photo

LONDON: He first built his empire on newspapers, but octogenarian Rupert Murdoch has now made a surprise bid to become a more modern media baron by joining Twitter.

A spokeswoman for his British newspaper wing News International confirmed Monday that the 80-year-old had gone where many elderly technophobes fear to tread by setting up an account on the popular microblogging site.

His account, @rupertmurdoch, went live on December 31 and his musings on everything from politics to New Year's resolutions have already gained him a following of more than 52,000 Twitter users after two days.

He made a shaky debut on the site, however, with the unusually punctuated tweet: “Have just. Read The Rational Optimist. Great book,” in reference to a work by Matt Ridley.

In one message to Twitter's executive chairman, Jack Dorsey, who helped him set up the account, Murdoch discussed his resolutions for 2012.

“My resolutions, try to maintain humility and always curiosity. And of course diet!,” he wrote.

He was not shy about heaping praise on his sprawling News Corp. global media empire, whose interests range from newspapers such as Britain's Times and the Wall Street Journal to news channels including Fox in the United States.

“Great op-ed in WSJ today on Ron Paul. Huge appeal of libertarian message,”he tweeted, referring to the Republican White House hopeful.

But Murdoch's foray into the world of social media also attracted swift criticism, with a slew of references to the phone-hacking scandal that engulfed the British wing of his empire last year.

“Welcome to Twitter... @rupertmurdoch. I've left you a Happy New Year message on my voicemail,” joked former Labour party deputy leader John Prescott, referring to the illegal hacking of voicemails which led to the closure of Murdoch's News of the World tabloid in July.

Opinion

Editorial

27 May, 2022

After the march

FORMER prime minister Imran Khan either ‘ran away’ from Islamabad or made a temporary, strategic retreat. It...
A tough decision
Updated 27 May, 2022

A tough decision

Decision to raise fuel prices will remove a major hitch of concluding a staff-level agreement with IMF.
27 May, 2022

Xinjiang files

QUESTIONS about the status of the Muslim Uighur people in China’s Xinjiang autonomous region often arise, with...
Dark days
Updated 26 May, 2022

Dark days

The PTI, on its part, does not seem to have been prepared to face such a large deployment of state machinery.
26 May, 2022

No room for dissent

WHILE political turmoil roils the land, a number of incidents over the past few days have demonstrated that though...
26 May, 2022

Harassing passengers

REPORTS of the confiscation of personal items from passengers’ private luggage by customs officials at Karachi’s...