I Am Rupert Murdoch's Total Lack Of Shame: Now Demanding Intermediary Liability Protections For News Corp.

from the hypocrisy dept

Let’s talk a bit about Rupert Murdoch. To his slight credit, in the early 2000s, he seemed to realize that the internet would be big for media. He also realized that he might be missing out. He went on an internet buying spree. It got to the point where Newsweek was praising Murdoch’s “smart bets” on the internet. The cornerstone of Murdoch’s digital empire was MySpace; a site that was once so dominant, the media insisted that no one could ever surpass it — not even a dumpy little startup like Facebook.

We all know how that all turned out. Within a few years, people realized that nearly every one of Murdoch’s internet ventures was a total and complete flop (often embarrassingly so).

Since then, it has seemed that Murdoch has been at war with the internet. The man who spent years using his various media properties to insist that we needed “less” government, and more “free market” wasted no opportunity to demand that the government step in and regulate, breakup, or tax the internet companies which out innovated Murdoch’s News Corp. He’s even been occasionally successful in getting governments to burden his competitors with ridiculous regulations.

Over the last few years, Murdoch and News Corp. have been one of the leading voices attacking Section 230. Murdoch seems consistently angry at anything deemed good for the internet. News Corp. has been lobbying against Section 230. Fox News’ most popular host, Tucker Carlson, regularly (if consistently ignorantly) rails against Section 230. Trump’s attacks on Section 230 in 2020 were completely consistent with Murdoch’s views.

That’s why we found it grimly ironic last week when an Australian court ruled that media companies could now be held liable for 3rd party comments on social media. This was an upside down version of Section 230 Down Under, that reached way beyond social media sites being liable. Instead, it made the news organizations that posted links on social media liable for the comments that came under them.

I joked that perhaps Murdoch would finally realize why Section 230 was important, and it did not take long for News Corp. to demand that the law be changed to protect… organizations like News Corp. from some 3rd party liability:

The ruling was “significant for anyone who maintains a public social media page by finding they can be liable for comments posted by others on that page even when they are unaware of those comments,” News Corp Australia executive chairman Michael Miller said in a statement.

“This highlights the need for urgent legislative reform and I call on Australia’s attorneys general to address this anomaly and bring Australian law into line with comparable western democracies,” Miller added.

You don’t say? You mean, it might be helpful if there were some sort of law? One that made it clear that intermediaries and media organizations should not be held liable for comments from random commenters? Someone should tell Tucker Carlson…

Filed Under: , , ,
Companies: news corp

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “I Am Rupert Murdoch's Total Lack Of Shame: Now Demanding Intermediary Liability Protections For News Corp.”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
77 Comments
Anonymoussays:

like so many others of the same attitude, if it stops him making money, destroy it, regardless of any good whatever it is he has his sights on. if, however, it is doing the opposite, then give all the help possible, particularly if that means scaring the shit out of the owners/developers and forcing them to sell the whatever to him for a much less than market estimate. however, he is doing whatever is needed to make sure he gets and maintains the market leadership and that no one can touch him, much like the USA entertainment industries and most importantly, they dont have a penny going to anyone except them even though they keep hundreds of millions in payments from those who should have been paid for work carried out but somehow are never gotten round to. surprised? why? they’ve been doing it long enough to enough people!

Anonymoussays:

like so many others of the same attitude, if it stops him making money, destroy it, regardless of any good whatever it is he has his sights on. if, however, it is doing the opposite, then give all the help possible, particularly if that means scaring the shit out of the owners/developers and forcing them to sell the whatever to him for a much less than market estimate. however, he is doing whatever is needed to make sure he gets and maintains the market leadership and that no one can touch him, much like the USA entertainment industries and most importantly, they dont have a penny going to anyone except them even though they keep hundreds of millions in payments from those who should have been paid for work carried out but somehow are never gotten round to. surprised? why? they’ve been doing it long enough to enough people!

hocky playersays:

ad hoc innoc time

Trying to get in past your pre-screening…


Up to some dozens of attempts: not worth counting any more! If I didn’t break through once in a while, reasonable people wouldn’t know of this sneaky CENSORING — while LYING that he doesn’t even "moderate" (Mz claims that it’s "the community" which "hides" comments)!

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: ad hoc innoc time

… of an apparently plain HTML input box (which is actually now clearly okayed per comment by an Admin), even though you’re immune for what I write. Your current practice of stifling all dissent betrays your prior blather about "free speech": actually, like everyone else, you mean only that which you approve.

Even when get in, it’s CENSORED. Oh, you have a LIE of "the community" which merely "hides", not censors, but it’s disadvantaging viewpoint, regardless of what lying you sez.

YOU don’t even have the guts to RULE openly, just cheat out of sight.

Mz’s pieces are ALWAYS locked-down fully of late. His corporatist notions are so extremist and fragile that can’t stand ANY dissent.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: ad hoc innoc time

Do you keep repeating his name or one of your favored twisted forms of it? I’ll bet that does it. i notice you went with another abbreviation this time.

i got caught in moderation (still not even sure it was ever released) for quoting someone who used his name. if that’s a mechanism, it’s a fair filter, since nearly all the time, someone using the name or one of the totally hilarious corruptions of it is entirely just being a complete dick, with zero content whatsoever.

so now we have more off-topic posts about how you can’t get through, zero content on the subject. good job, you.

Anonymoussays:

Web-sites are MERE HOSTS, are NOT "property"...

… so all your assertions based on publishers and applying the law of property are simply WRONG.

[You won’t/don’t recognize "intellectual property" as valid, but assert that web-site hosting is legally same as physical property!]

You push an explicitly anti-American scheme to enable a few corporations to control ALL speech on the internet.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Web-sites are MERE HOSTS, are NOT "property"...

Hey thanks for acting like a spambot.

I flagged you comment: and guess what? I am not Masnick.

If you actually want to disagree with Mike and NOT have you comments rappidly hidden, maybe carefully craft a single message that does not make you look like a raving madman?

I mean even koby has comments that are not flagged while still disagreeing.

kallethensays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Web-sites are MERE HOSTS, are NOT "property"...

At the very least, Koby doesn’t spam. I may not agree with him often, but I’ll at least respect him for being a responsible commenter. And honestly, sometimes he does have opinions I can agree with.

Perhaps if this other guy acted more like Koby, he’d not be targeted by the spam filter…

Anonymoussays:

Web-sites are MERE HOSTS, are NOT "property"...

… so all your assertions based on publishers and applying the law of property are simply WRONG.

[You won’t/don’t recognize "intellectual property" as valid, but assert that web-site hosting is legally same as physical property!]

You push an explicitly anti-American scheme to enable a few corporations to control ALL speech on the internet.

Samuel Abramsays:

Re: Re: Maybe They Should Change

The United States didn’t need such a law. Cubby v Compuserve was from 1991, predating section 230 by several years.

There’s also the case of Stratton Oakmont v. Prodigy, which had the opposite ruling. Rather than let both rulings remain and lead to legal uncertainty, ?230 was created to resolve it once and for all.

Why are you so bad at this, Koby?

Kobysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Maybe They Should Change

There’s also the case of Stratton Oakmont v. Prodigy, which had the opposite ruling.

The Rupert Murdoch situation seems more analogous to Cubby, since they apparently weren’t even aware of what was being said in the comments. Stratton Oakmont was different because they were actively monitoring and aware of the comments. So they knew.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Maybe They Should Change

How many court cases can you afford to win, when every one is taken to trial? If someone with money wishes a company or individual destroyed, they just take them court when they see a chance, and make the experience as expensive as possible using delays and procedural tricks. Their intent is not to win, but rather to bankrupt their opponent.

ECAsays:

Wait for it.

Lets see.
"it made the news organizations that posted links on social media liable for the comments that came under them. "

So for all the news and internet sites, and papers Murdoch controls.
‘it made the news organizations that posted links on social media liable for the comments that came under them.’

After all his complaining about 230. He gets his way. But if he publishes something on 1 site and then passes this link and info to others of his sites and papers? It has been known along time that his agencies for news distribution tend to USE HIS OPINIONS.
Who will be liable?
Or will everything posted on his sites be considered opinion? Not truth or fact or anything Logical beyond himself.

ECAsays:

Wait for it.

Lets see.
"it made the news organizations that posted links on social media liable for the comments that came under them. "

So for all the news and internet sites, and papers Murdoch controls.
‘it made the news organizations that posted links on social media liable for the comments that came under them.’

After all his complaining about 230. He gets his way. But if he publishes something on 1 site and then passes this link and info to others of his sites and papers? It has been known along time that his agencies for news distribution tend to USE HIS OPINIONS.
Who will be liable?
Or will everything posted on his sites be considered opinion? Not truth or fact or anything Logical beyond himself.

Anonymoussays:

austrailian courts seem to like placing various legal options or choices over the public good ,resulting in an environment that puts free speech in danger, also they brought in laws that the police can ask for data from any service or website without even asking for a court order .
murdoch does not like section 230 in that in protects facebook and google and big tech companys that compete with his newspapers and media companys.
australian websites will probably limit comment sections or maybe shut them down rather than risk expensive lawsuits .
theres a reason why section 230 was passed it was to allow websites to host forums and comments without getting wiped out by random lawsuits .

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

it’s the same reason that lots of other places don’t need a 230, since they already have sensible procedures. for now, anyway.

it seems like there is always a segment in Oz that wants to out-do the dystopian visions of UK presented by some writers and filmmakers. mind, this is just an opinion about flavor. everyone seems to want to climb to the top of the bizarre authoritarian pile via one route or another.

Anonymoussays:

austrailian courts seem to like placing various legal options or choices over the public good ,resulting in an environment that puts free speech in danger, also they brought in laws that the police can ask for data from any service or website without even asking for a court order .
murdoch does not like section 230 in that in protects facebook and google and big tech companys that compete with his newspapers and media companys.
australian websites will probably limit comment sections or maybe shut them down rather than risk expensive lawsuits .
theres a reason why section 230 was passed it was to allow websites to host forums and comments without getting wiped out by random lawsuits .

That One Guysays:

'You gave me what I asked for, not what I wanted!'

"This highlights the need for urgent legislative reform and I call on Australia’s attorneys general to address this anomaly and bring Australian law into line with comparable western democracies," Miller added.

I’ve got great news for you then, there’s this little thing called ‘Section 230’ over in the US that you can model your online liability laws on, maybe give that a look.

That One Guysays:

'You gave me what I asked for, not what I wanted!'

"This highlights the need for urgent legislative reform and I call on Australia’s attorneys general to address this anomaly and bring Australian law into line with comparable western democracies," Miller added.

I’ve got great news for you then, there’s this little thing called ‘Section 230’ over in the US that you can model your online liability laws on, maybe give that a look.

Anonymoussays:

Re: ad hoc innoc time

… of an apparently plain HTML input box (which is actually now clearly okayed per comment by an Admin), even though you’re immune for what I write. Your current practice of stifling all dissent betrays your prior blather about "free speech": actually, like everyone else, you mean only that which you approve.

Even when get in, it’s CENSORED. Oh, you have a LIE of "the community" which merely "hides", not censors, but it’s disadvantaging viewpoint, regardless of what lying you sez.

YOU don’t even have the guts to RULE openly, just cheat out of sight.

Mz’s pieces are ALWAYS locked-down fully of late. His corporatist notions are so extremist and fragile that can’t stand ANY dissent.

Samuel Abramsays:

Re: Maybe They Should Change

The United States didn’t need such a law. Cubby v Compuserve was from 1991, predating section 230 by several years.

There’s also the case of Stratton Oakmont v. Prodigy, which had the opposite ruling. Rather than let both rulings remain and lead to legal uncertainty, §230 was created to resolve it once and for all.

Why are you so bad at this, Koby?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Maybe They Should Change

How many court cases can you afford to win, when every one is taken to trial? If someone with money wishes a company or individual destroyed, they just take them court when they see a chance, and make the experience as expensive as possible using delays and procedural tricks. Their intent is not to win, but rather to bankrupt their opponent.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Maybe They Should Change

The Australian law is roughly like the Prodigy ruling: if you are operating a moderated discussion board, and you leave something up after you can be reasonably assumed to have seen it (or if you specifically approve it), you’ve taken editorial responsibility for it.

Also like Prodigy, if you are a dumb intermediary that only gets involved to the minimum extent required by law, then you’re not assumed to have seen it and aren’t liable.

IMO, that’s a much better policy position than S230.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Web-sites are MERE HOSTS, are NOT "property"...

Hey thanks for acting like a spambot.

I flagged you comment: and guess what? I am not Masnick.

If you actually want to disagree with Mike and NOT have you comments rappidly hidden, maybe carefully craft a single message that does not make you look like a raving madman?

I mean even koby has comments that are not flagged while still disagreeing.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: ad hoc innoc time

Do you keep repeating his name or one of your favored twisted forms of it? I’ll bet that does it. i notice you went with another abbreviation this time.

i got caught in moderation (still not even sure it was ever released) for quoting someone who used his name. if that’s a mechanism, it’s a fair filter, since nearly all the time, someone using the name or one of the totally hilarious corruptions of it is entirely just being a complete dick, with zero content whatsoever.

so now we have more off-topic posts about how you can’t get through, zero content on the subject. good job, you.

Kobysays:

Re: Re: Maybe They Should Change

There’s also the case of Stratton Oakmont v. Prodigy, which had the opposite ruling.

The Rupert Murdoch situation seems more analogous to Cubby, since they apparently weren’t even aware of what was being said in the comments. Stratton Oakmont was different because they were actively monitoring and aware of the comments. So they knew.

Anonymoussays:

Re:

it’s the same reason that lots of other places don’t need a 230, since they already have sensible procedures. for now, anyway.

it seems like there is always a segment in Oz that wants to out-do the dystopian visions of UK presented by some writers and filmmakers. mind, this is just an opinion about flavor. everyone seems to want to climb to the top of the bizarre authoritarian pile via one route or another.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Wait for it.

Mike has slightly misunderstood the way the ruling works: it targets the moderators of the comments, not the poster of the original link. In the particular instance in the case, NewsCorp posted the link on Facebook and so were the moderators. If they’d posted on /r/Australia, then the subreddit mods would have been potentially liable but NewsCorp would be in the clear.

XcOM987says:

Re: Second aspect: MERE HOSTS do NOT deserve POWER to CONTROL...

Indeed mere hosts do not deserve power to control what others wish to publish, but they do deserve power to decide what others wish to publish/use/do with their platform.

They can’t however stop someone publishing on someone elses hosting platform, or host their own platform and post there.

While your statement is factually correct, the meaning behind your phrasing is wrong in every sense of what you want it to mean thus making your statement wrong.

Only you could make a statement which is actually correct somehow wrong still, congratulations, you are awarded zero points.

naschsays:

Re: Re: Maybe They Should Change

if you are operating a moderated discussion board, and you leave something up after you can be reasonably assumed to have seen it (or if you specifically approve it), you’ve taken editorial responsibility for it.

The result of such a policy is almost nobody can afford to have a moderated discussion board. So there may be a wealthy few companies that do, and everyone else will either shut off comments, or not moderate. So get ready for spam, trolling, and porn. That is the policy you want?

That One Guysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Maybe They Should Change

Ah yes, how dare people who run platforms have biases, truly what fiends they are to be so completely unlike any other person or business out there who strive to be completely neutral… That aside what specifically do you think the biases of the businesses running online platforms are that you’re objecting to and which specific type of content are they removing because of that?

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Report this ad??|??Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...