Rupert Murdoch, the media tycoon once portrayed as a skeptic of the Internet, started his own Twitter Inc. account, sharing views on topics from a biography on Steve Jobs to U.S. politics and his New Year’s resolutions.
The News Corp. chairman and chief executive officer has attracted more than 56,000 followers since comments appeared on the microblogging website two days ago under the handle rupertmurdoch. Daisy Dunlop, a spokeswoman for News Corp.’s U.K. publishing unit, confirmed the authenticity of the account. Twitter co-Founder Jack Dorsey and Zynga Inc. CEO Mark Pincus are among people Murdoch is following.
The 80-year-old, holidaying on the Caribbean island of Saint Barthelemy, wrote that a recently published biography on Apple Inc.’s founder was “interesting but unfair,” while an article in News Corp.-owned Wall Street Journal on Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul showed the “huge appeal of libertarian message.” Murdoch himself plans to “try to maintain humility and always curiosity. And of course diet!”
Murdoch’s turn toward the Internet to express his opinions follows an unsuccessful stint in the world of social networks, which ended last year with the sale of Myspace for a fraction of the price News Corp. paid in 2005. It also contrasts with the personal antipathy to the Web portrayed by his biographer Michael Wolff, who wrote in a 2009 Vanity Fair article that for Murdoch the Internet is “predatory” and “a place for porn, thievery, and hackers.”
News Corp. was rocked last year by revelations its News of the World U.K. tabloid hacked into phones of celebrities and politicians as well as a murdered schoolgirl. The scandal led to the closure of the 168-year-old newspaper in July, at least 21 arrests, and thwarted News Corp.’s 7.8 billion-pound ($12 billion) bid to buy all of British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc.
Murdoch didn’t refer to the scandal in his postings.
Twitter, based in San Francisco, last month received a $300 million investment from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who also owns a stake in News Corp. That investment would value Twitter at more than $10 billion.
Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, competes with News Corp. units in providing financial news and information.