Google specifically targeted by Facebook with smear campaign
Information was released on May 12, 2011 that Facebook Inc., recently hired a PR firm for the specific purpose of sending out stories that included criticisms of Google Inc.’s privacy policies. This is only the latest display within a growing rivalry between these two online giants.
The WPP Group PLC’s Burson-Marsteller was hired by Facebook to pitch stories to security experts and journalists about stories that put Google’s information collecting practices from users of social networking accounts such as Facebook, into question. That said, Facebook had not revealed that they were behind this smear campaign.
However, news reports and bloggers revealed the connection between Facebook and Burson-Marsteller, and on Thursday, Facebook took quick action to attempt to minimize the PR impact of its efforts.
A spokesperson from Facebook said that they hadn’t any intention to run a smear campaign, nor did they authorize one. Instead, they said that “We engaged Burson-Marsteller to focus attention on this issue, using publicly available information that could be independently verified by any media organization or analyst,” and that “The issues are serious and we should have presented them in a serious and transparent way”.
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