Facebook attempts to tarnish Google
Facebook employs PR firm to uncover Google
Reports revealed this week that Facebook hired US PR firm Burson-Marsteller to place stories in the press that questioned Google’s use of user data.
Among the approached was influential blogger Christopher Soghoian who refused to write about the issue. Soghoian instead posted the email exchange online, exposing how an unnamed client was attempting to blacken Google’s name.
Then began the speculation of who Burson-Marsteller’s client was. Many reports were speculating that it was probably Microsoft or Apple, but following a media expose, Facebook has now confirmed that it was in fact behind the campaign. This shock revelation prompted Google’s Matt Cutts to post on Twitter; “Whoa. The company that paid for an anti-Google “whisper campaign” wasn’t Microsoft. It was Facebook”
Facebook’s questioning of Google’s integrity backfires
Google’s privacy policies have often been questioned but Facebook’s use of a PR team to attack Google leaves Facebook in a difficult position. Facebook believed that Google’s incorporation of user’s data, from sites such as Facebook, for use on its own social network ‘Google Social Circles’ was unacceptable. The undercover campaign aimed to encourage web users to comment on how they disagreed with Google’s use of personal information for this purpose.
Facebook’s attempts, however, have instead sparked users to condemn their methods on social media and have also called into question the PR techniques of Burson-Marsteller.