Smear Campaign Against Google Uncovered At Facebook

In something that reminds us of the cold war between Russia and the US, word is coming out that Facebook hired a public relations firm for the purpose of getting articles written that were critical of Google privacy policy. Why Facebook would attempt to do something as sinister as this is not known, but the discover is a big blow for them and is extremely embarrassing. In today’s world, these kind of actions are uncovered far quicker than years ago. In the previous administration in the White House, they were paying for people to say nice things about them and that was exposed. With the growing publicity on this, Facebook has admitted that they were behind this effort. As the story goes, Facebook hired the firm of Burson Marsteller, which is a global communications company and the individual at the company that was contacted was Jim Goldman, who you might remember as being a CNBC reporter and also involved John Mercurio who used to work at Politico . So they have a well recognized PR firm and well recognized reporters. As the story goes, they pitched the idea to Christopher Soghoian, who is based in Washington DC and is influential with the blogs that he writes. They wanted him to write a blog about privacy issues at Google to be printed in all the major news outlets. So, Christopher wanted to know who the company was which was behind the idea, but did not get that from Burson Marsteller. So, instead of writing the story, he published the emails that he was sent and others were able to determine that it was Facebook who started all of this. The Daily Beast was the one that made the connections to Facebook. From there, things exploded in the press with the revelations and the story has taken on a life of its own. It seems that there are other stories that this firm has been circulating and one of them was to report on Google’s Social Circle has some issues which are considered a threat to privacy. How many other stories have been paid for by Facebook to accuse Google of privacy issues through backdoor reporting is not known, but it is more than likely that there will be some investigations by Congress into this matter as they like the publicity. According to Christopher Soghoian, Burson is “making a mountain out of molehill” on this issue and we are surprised that Facebook would do something like this. We especially like a sentence from The Daily Beast and leave you with it today. “Here were two guys from one of the biggest PR agencies in the world, blustering around Silicon Valley like a pair of Keystone Kops.”
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