Facebook Hires PR Firm To Trash Google

You know, I’m really starting to dislike Facebook. The Globe And Mail reports that the social networking company hired a PR firm to trash Google:

Burson-Marsteller, a WPP-owned PR agency whose clients also include Microsoft, contacted national newspaper reporters and opinion-piece writers with a view to securing coverage on Google’s alleged use of personal information from Facebook and other social networks, but did not inform the journalists that they were acting on behalf of Facebook.

Details of an e-mail exchange between Burson-Marsteller and one individual were posted online before a reporter at the Daily Beast news website exposed Facebook as the agency’s client.

All parties have since admitted to the assignment.

It’s really rich for Facebook to trash Google for issues relating to personal information considering how much trouble they’ve gotten into recently. Of course they put their own spin on the situation:

Facebook denied that it intended to run a “smear” campaign over Social Circles, a little-known Google feature that charts connections between Internet users based on their profiles on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

“Instead, we wanted third parties to verify that people did not approve of the collection and use of information from their accounts on Facebook and other services for inclusion in Google Social Circles – just as Facebook did not approve of use or collection for this purpose,” Facebook said. “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. The issues are serious and we should have presented them in a serious and transparent way.”

It sounds like the politics of distraction to me. The fact is that Facebook wants everyone’s info even more than Google does because it can make a pile of cash from it. So with news like this, I wouldn’t take anything that Facebook says

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