Why would any PR firm take on a major client like Facebook and send out stories to significant media outlets without knowing they need to disclose the client name(s) when wording suggests a direct “attack” on a competitor? Just because the client is Facebook doesn’t mean you go off the moral road or against company policy. You know Facebook is notorious for privacy issues and ass backwards approach to releasing changes with security in mind, so it only makes sense to ask questions and spin a story that won’t require a PR firm to hire a Crisis PR firm down the road.
Yes, Google wants in on that social graph; yes, Facebook is holding keys to the social future that its young leaders and development team have no real proven experience how to substantially implement. This is no reason to run digital black-ops against the competitor and cry later, “We should have known to do it differently” as if Zuckerberg is an 8 year old that decided to play with that bag of fireworks he was told 100 times never to touch. Don;t let the young face of the future fool you. He is getting by on mistakes that if you, I or any small business were to make would be buried for it!
If the social graph is so “social”, why is it an issue for Google to use what is apparently already accessible?
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — “Google quietly launches sweeping violation of user privacy!” screamed the all-caps headline of an e-mail that popped into journalists’ and bloggers’ inboxes last week.
The e-mails were meant to whip media outlets into a frenzy — but the effort backfired when journalists found out that that the anti-Google campaign, conducted by PR giant Burson-Marsteller, was paid for by Facebook.
Welcome to a new level skullduggery in the growing war between Facebook and Google.
At stake is one of the most valuable data sets in existence: The social graph. It’s a map of the connections between you and everyone you interact with. Facebook has it. Google has pieces of it, and wants more. That puts the two companies on a collision course.
Stealth war: Last week, Burson began to circulate e-mails alleging that Google is using a little-known Gmail feature called Social Circles “to scrape and mine social sites from around the web … and share that information” without users’ knowledge or consent.
The campaign started to unravel on May 3, when Burson pitched the idea to influential privacy blogger Christopher Soghoian.
In its e-mail to Soghoian, the firm offered to “assist in the drafting” of an op-ed piece and pitch the article to media outlets including the Washington Post, Politico, and the Huffington Post.
Facebook’s mea culpa: A Facebook rep told CNNMoney via e-mail that “no ‘smear’ campaign was authorized or intended.”
Facebook admitted that it had hired Burson “to focus attention on this issue,” and the company said it now realizes it should have handled the situation “in a serious and transparent way.”
New CEO Larry Page is clearly committed to stepping up Google’s social game. An all-staff memo sent out last month, first reported by Business Insider, puts employees on notice that a chunk of their annual bonus this year will be tied to how well Google does this year at executing on its social strategy.