Jul 7th, 2011

Looks like Google+ may have Facebook running scared but just how worried is the social networking giant? Well, if this attempt at a smear campaign is any indication, they may be getting desperate.

Christopher Soghoian is security and privacy blogger and it’s because of this area of expertise that Facebook’s PR firm, Burson-Marsteller, singled him out to write up a story attacking Google and their Circles. The PR firm even went as far as telling Soghoian that if he was “too busy” to write up the story, they would do him the favor of writing one for him, all he would have to do is sign his name on the by line.

The PR firm also approached 3 other privacy researchers promising them front page stories in high profile news venues like The Washington Post but even then, they couldn’t find anyone to bite. Soghoian, who was worried someone would eventually take them up on their offer, published the emails on his blog and appeared on Bloomberg West so that no one would be able to discredit him.

It’s also worth mentioning that although Burson-Marstellar wouldn’t disclose exactly who was funding them but apparently the owner of The Washington Post just so happens to be on the board of Facebook. That should be enough to make you scratch your chin.

I can tell you that we get emails all the time by PR agencies asking us to review or cover their product but nothing along these lines. What do you guys think? Is all fair in love and social networking? Or will this latest stunt have you immediately deleting your Facebook profile and heading for Google+’s greener pastures?

[Via Bloomberg]