Facebook Found out in a Google Smear Campaign
May 20, 2011
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Is Facebook scared of Google then? It would seem so. At the tail end of last week the social network had to stand up and admit that it hired a PR firm to plant anti-Google stories relating to user privacy… Of course it could also be a giant smoke screen hiding some other nefarious activity they are up to… Time will tell.
A top, US PR firm, Burston-Marsteller was taken on to pitch anti-Google stories to newspapers by approaching Bloggers about the story “on behalf of an unnamed client”. They even offered to help those bloggers get their articles published… This plan backfired when one blogger refused the offer and posted the information sent by Burson-Marsteller. The rumours about who the client was then started and Microsoft and Apple were swiftly accused (and denied). It was the Daily Beast, a US news website that found that the client was actually Facebook.
Facebook has since confirmed it used the firm to raise concerns on privacy but denied setting up a smear campaign. The main focus of their concern was regarding the scraping of data by Google for inclusion into Google Search results. Later the same week, Facebook signed up with Microsoft to produce curated results in the Bing Search engine…