Media mogul Rupert Murdoch this week decried what he sees as “a wave of censorship” that seeks to stifle debate and stop people from realizing their potential.
Murdoch, whose holding company owns Fox News, the New York Post, and other media outlets, said media professionals nowadays have “a real challenge to confront: a wave of censorship that seeks to silence conversation, to stifle debate, and to ultimately stop individuals and societies from realizing their potential.”
“This rigidly enforced conformity, aided and abetted by so-called social media, is a straitjacket on sensibility. Too many people have fought too hard in too many places for freedom of speech to be suppressed by this awful woke orthodoxy,” he added.
Social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook have increasingly embraced censorship in recent months, banning then-U.S. President Donald Trump in January and inserting labels into posts the companies believe are misleading or false.
Murdoch’s own son, James Murdoch, has joined others in criticizing American media outlets for what he described as “toxic politics.”
“The sacking of the Capitol is proof positive that what we thought was dangerous is indeed very, very much so. Those outlets that propagate lies to their audience have unleashed insidious and uncontrollable forces that will be with us for years,” he told the Financial Times after the U.S. Capitol was breached on Jan. 6.
The elder Murdoch, 89, was speaking in a video in which he accepted a lifetime achievement award from the Australia Day Foundation. The nonprofit called Murdoch “a true Australian pioneer who has transformed the world’s media landscape” who has become “one of the most influential people in the media industry, with business interests that span television broadcasting and entertainment content to newspapers and book publishing.”
Murdoch said the award had “an air of finality, almost of closure,” but assured listeners that he has many goals left in life.
He also shared advice with young Australian professionals, telling them “to have the confidence to follow opportunity, to be ambitious, to be curious, and never to be self-satisfied or smug.”