(Bloomberg) -- Rupert Murdoch, the billionaire mogul behind Fox News, took issue with the silencing of debate on social media, saying censorship had hobbled discourse with “awful woke orthodoxy.”
Murdoch, 89, made the rare public remarks during a brief video to accept a lifetime achievement award from the Australia Day Foundation. The clip was posted online by the Herald Sun, a Melbourne newspaper owned by the media mogul’s News Corp.
“For those of us in media, there is a real challenge to confront,” he said. “A wave of censorship that seeks to silence conversation, to stifle debate and ultimately stop individuals and societies from realizing their potential.”
The U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6 was followed by a purging of the social-media accounts of then-President Donald Trump and others, drawing complaints of censorship. On Monday, Twitter Inc. said it would seek to police the service more vigilantly for misinformation and introduced a new feature called Birdwatch.
Fox News and other conservative outlets are under fire for fueling uncertainty about the U.S. presidential election, which critics say contributed to the storming of the Capitol. Murdoch’s own son James Murdoch has joined the outcry, telling the Financial Times that outlets “that propagate lies to their audience have unleashed insidious and uncontrollable forces that will be with us for years.”
In his remarks from the award ceremony, Rupert Murdoch said a “rigidly enforced conformity, aided and abetted by so-called social media, is a straitjacket on sensibility.”