Given that 2011 will be known as the year News Corp. (News International) was savaged in light of the UK ‘phone-hacking scandal’, you’d think its boss would be looking to spend the foreseeable future away from the spotlight. Not so.
Moreover, industry behemoth Rupert Murdoch has apparently thrown all caution to the wind and opened a personal Twitter account. Talk about dangling a red rag before a rampant bull.
The account in question, which has since been verified by Twitter executive chairman Jack Dorsey, pulled in more than 25,000 followers within hours of going live—all no-doubt eager for an insight into one of the media world’s most divisive figures.
Of course, Murdoch’s move towards Twitter could be interpreted as little more than damage limitation considering News International’s battered reputation. Indeed, his tweets thus far suggest an effort to portray a somewhat more ‘human’ and ‘personable’ side.
Said micro-messages have seen Murdoch commenting on George Clooney’s apparently Oscar-worthy performance in The Descendents (distributed by News Corp’s Fox Searchlight Pictures), and also Steve Jobs’ “interesting but unfair” authorized biography.
“Huge NY eve do,” wrote the 80-year-old media executive as 2012 dawned. “Oligarchs and silicon valley biggies(like Jack [Dorsey]) . May. Learn something.”
“Happy 2012. May itbe better than all experts predict,” he added. “Has to be! Must change everything to create jobs for all, especiallyyoung.”
Although many Twitter users have questioned whether Murdoch is indeed the account holder—some pointing to poor punctuation and grammar—it would appear Dorsey’s official verification proves otherwise.
Former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has perhaps posted the most noteworthy reaction to Murdoch’s arrival: “Welcome to Twitter… @rupertmurdoch. I’ve left you a Happy New Year message on my voicemail.”