Facebook has admitted hiring a PR firm to raise concerns about Google’s privacy practices. The campaign backfired though when an agent from the firm was caught trying to “help” a prominent blogger write a critical piece on one of Google’s services, according to The Daily Beast.
The PR firm is Burson-Marsteller. The blogger is Chris Soghoian. A Burson agent approached him to write a piece on Google’s Social Circle, a network of social connections that Google uses to deliver relevant search results. The Burson rep even offered to help write the piece.
Soghoian declined and instead decided to publish some of the emails from Burson. (They’re available here.) In one email, the Burson rep directly attacks Google, saying, “Google, as you know, has a well-known history of infringing on the privacy rights of America’s Internet users. Not a year has gone by since the founding of the company where it has not been the focus of front-page news detailing its zealous approach to gathering information -– in many cases private and identifiable information — about online users.”
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- Facebook admits hiring PR firm to smear Google (engadget.com)
- Facebook Busted in Clumsy Smear on Google (thedailybeast.com)
- BUSTED: It Was FACEBOOK That Hired Former CNBC Reporter To Spread Lies About Google (businessinsider.com)
- Facebook hired a PR agency to dish the dirt on Google. But it backfired. (thenextweb.com)
- Facebook – Live by PR, die by PR (broadstuff.com)
Tom George here the CEO of Internet Billboards. As always thank you for visiting the Billboards. It’s a great day, and also a fun time to be curating content on the web. So what is your take on this story? Do you feel with this alleged scandal Facebook has gone too far, or do you think smear campaigns against rivals in business is just par for the course? Go ahead and way in with your thought’s with your comment.
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