Facebook Plan To Smear Google Goes Awry, Facebook Being Facebook Or Were They Just Unlucky Enough To Get Caught?
Facebok, Facebook, Facebook. I can’t say that I am surprised about this one and for once I think that folks might be being a bit too hard on Facebook. I know pigs will probably fly because you guys know how much I hammer Facebook about their apparent lack of concern for their users’ privacy among other things. In this case though, I think that Facebook was just unlucky enough to get caught and this more than likely speaks to a bigger behavior throughout the industry. Wait… some of you don’t know what I am talking about.
Today, Facebook finds itself at the middle of a nasty little scandal because the largest social network on the planet hired PR firm, Burson-Marsteller, to for all intensive purposes smear Google all over the media. The report first broke on The Daily Beast and Facebook has since confirmed their involvement to The Daily Beast. According to the report, Facebook hired Burson-Marsteller to handle the “dirty work” which included pitching “anti-Google stories to newspapers, urging them to investigate claims that Google was invading people’s privacy” as well as helping “an influential blogger write a Google-bashing op-ed, which it promised it could place in outlets like The Washington Post, Politico, and The Huffington Post.” Of all the things that could have happen, Facebook being forthright about something like this was the last thing I expected. I suppose the biggest key here is that they didn’t do anything illegal though most feel it was in poor taste. For Facebook’s part they said that they did it because they believe that Google is doing some things in social networking that raise privacy concerns and because Facebook resents Google’s attempts to use Facebook data in its own social-networking service. So Facebook care’s about our personal privacy (yeah right) and they were trying to protect their business interest.
As it stands everyone has weighed in on this one except Google, who seems to be taking high road (for now). It could also be the fact that they are thoroughly entrenched with Google I/O this week. Rest assured though they will respond and I’m sure it will entertaining to say the least. Our bigger question to you all is do you think this is just Facebook being Facebook or do you think this is a behavior that several other companies participate in and just haven’t been caught? Let us know in the comments.