Sunday 25 February 2018

Phone hacking: Twitter campaign calls for News Corp boycott

Rupert Murdoch’s embattled media empire faces a growing threat as campaigners take to the internet in their droves to call for a complete boycott of News Corporation.

Thousands of online protestors are using Facebook and Twitter to urge others not to buy The Sun, The Times, The Sunday Times or even to watch Sky.

One Facebook group called ‘Boycott News International’, which boasts nearly 8,000 members, insisted its members should refuse to buy the company’s newspaper titles.

It added that cancelling subscriptions to Sky would also send a clear message to the troubled 80-year-old chairman.

Meanwhile, a similar twitter campaign registered the domain name , with the intention of creating a site to bring “anti-Murdoch campaigners together for effective action.”

Its home page claimed the media mogul’s companies “propagate a false image of the world, exaggerate news stories, and spin an agenda which fits Murdoch’s business interests.”

It also argued that the organisation gave him an “astronomically disproportionate amount of power which is largely unaccountable” and that this “erodes our democracy”.

It told visitors to the site: “As we do not have the ability to vote him out of power, we should do the next best thing: refuse to give money to anything produced or related to the Murdoch media empire, and raise awareness so that other people do the same.”

Other increasingly popular Twitter campaigns urged followers to “write to your MP to block BSkyB bid. We only have a couple of days!”

One demanded everyone “tell Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt how we feel about Murdoch owning so much of the media! Call his offices, Email him directly”, while a second said “boycott The Sun and Sky News...disgusting that 1000 workers sacked to divert attention from Brooks and James Murdoch.”

Yet more twitter users claimed that as Mr Murdoch was currently in the UK “it should be fairly straightforward to arrest him and question him on what he knew.”

The increasingly bitter attack on Murdoch’s empire comes as News Corporation yesterday saw an estimated £877million wiped off the value of BSkyB shares.

While Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg urged Mr Murdoch to drop the takeover, Mr Hunt announced he was seeking further advice on whether the media mogul’s planned buyout of the broadcaster could be referred to the Competition Commission.

In addition, it also emerged that evidence had been found suggesting the News of the World had paid a protection officer for contact details of senior members of the Royal Family and that The Sun had obtained Gordon Brown’s son’s medical records.

Speaking in the Commons, the Prime Minister David Cameron said: "The allegation, if it's true, that the police have been selling details of royal household information to a newspaper, that is truly appalling.

"It's a dereliction of their duty, a dereliction of service, and we need to get to the bottom of it.”

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