Facebook has Googled itself over. The social-networking site has been caught hiring public-relations powerhouse Burson-Marsteller to dig up dirt on the search engine and circulate that information in the news, journalist Dan Lyon of The Daily Beast reports.
The PR spin doctors co-wrote and pitched stories, secretly on behalf of Facebook, about Google’s invasion of privacy. USA Today complains former CNBC reporter Jim Goldman, working for Burson-Marsteller, sent it untrue information.
Image: Todd Barnard
Facebook has admitted it hired the agency, partly in retaliation over Google’s use of Facebook data.
The hypocrisy is not lost on anyone. Facebook has been criticized for a sweeping array of alleged violations of privacy ranging from inability to truly delete information from user accounts to the exchanging of information with other sites visited — even collaborating with American government agencies.
The Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic filed 35 pages of allegations the company acted illegally to the Privacy Commissioner in 2008, prompting Facebook to change some policies.
The lack of privacy control for users’ Facebook information is well ridiculed by comedy publisher The Onion, like in this satirical news report:
CIA’s ‘Facebook’ Program Dramatically Cut Agency’s Costs
Facebook, global social-networking leader and most popular website in many countries, has 600 million users — one account for every tenth person on Earth.
The Daily Beast: http://goo.gl/oQgKe
Email conversation between Burson-Marsteller and op-ed columnist Christopher Saghoian: http://goo.gl/NAg0h
USA Today: http://goo.gl/S2bFs
U.S. Department of Justice: http://goo.gl/fhNyi
The Onion: http://goo.gl/Hz3bh