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Rupert Murdoch's surprising Twitter success

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David Carr of The New York Times looks at Rupert Murdoch's success in microblogging.


Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch isn't particularly computer-savvy, but his forays into Twitter have so far managed to capture the candid, combative outbursts that characterize good microblogging. On his account, he's done everything from accusing Obama of colluding with "Silicon Valley paymasters" on SOPA to admitting that MySpace "screwed up in every way possible." And despite his often deeply unpopular opinions, Murdoch's Twitter feed has arguably done more for his image than the bland accounts of many other executives. David Carr of The New York Times agrees, saying that "by mixing the personal and political, propaganda and plain old rants, [Murdoch] is serving his interests and the interests of his company."

Of course, while Murdoch's almost charming straightforwardness has worked out well for him, the move to Twitter was hardly risky. The consequences of an inflammatory tweet aren't particularly high for a man with a company big enough to let him live a "life beyond consequence," as Carr so aptly puts it. And if Murdoch can weather allegations that one of his papers was routinely hacking the phones of sources, an ill-timed description of Britain as a "broke country" probably isn't going to hurt. But regardless of how Murdoch fares in his Twitter adventure, it's a good example of how social media can humanize even the most remote of public figures.