Posted by: hwsmith | May 12, 2011

Facebook Plants Anti-Google Messages

Over the past couple days there have been rumors spreading around the Silicon Valley accusing  Apple or Microsoft of  planting anti-Google messages in newspapers. The stories claimed that Google was invading people’s privacy, but revealed no source. However, this morning, The Daily Beast discovered that Facebook had in fact hired two PR reps from Burson-Marsteller firm to plant negative stories about Google, “claiming that its Social Circle feature violates privacy and FTC rules.”

As news leaked out that Burson was responsible for the “whisper-campaign,” which asked an influential blogger to write a Goggle-bashing story, USA Today quickly picked up the story and exposed its content. It turns out that instead of writing the story, the blogger declined and leaked the emails that Burson sent him to the press. Burson originally denied the accusations, but when Facebook confirmed their involvement to the campaign, Burson came out with the truth as well.

According to The Daily Beast, “Facebook spokesman last night confirmed that Facebook hired Burson, citing two reasons: First, because it believes Google is doing some things in social networking that raise privacy concerns; second, and perhaps more important, because Facebook resents Google’s attempts to use Facebook data in its own social-networking service.” However, regardless the reasons for creating the campaign, both Facebook and Burson ended up looking like the fool, not Google.

The “war” between Facebook and Google is now made public, questioning the motives behind each search engine giant. But who will come out on top? In this case, I have to give Google a point for winning this smear campaign.

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