The PJ Tatler

The thick plottens...

Apparently Facebook is worried about Google’s foray into social networking. From the Daily Beast:

NEW YORK – Facebook Busted in Clumsy Smear on Google. The social network secretly hired a PR firm to plant negative stories about the search giant, The Daily Beast’s Dan Lyons reveals—a caper that is blowing up in their face, and escalating their war.

For the past few days, a mystery has been unfolding in Silicon Valley. Somebody, it seems, hired Burson-Marsteller, a top public-relations firm, to pitch anti-Google stories to newspapers, urging them to investigate claims that Google was invading people’s privacy. Burson even offered to help 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.

The plot backfired when the blogger turned down Burson’s offer and posted the emails that Burson had sent him. It got worse when USA Today broke a story accusing Burson of spreading a “whisper campaign” about Google “on behalf of an unnamed client.”

I’m not entirely certain what Facebook thinks they have to worry about, Google’s last foray into social networking was a huge flop and, of course, everyone knows Google is collecting private information. But then, there are plenty of privacy concerns with Facebook as well and much more threat to your computer’s security than what you get from Google. They’d do better to simply issue press releases noting they’re not worried about Google because Google doesn’t really understand social networking.