Facebook Fights Dirty – Uses Underhanded Techniques to Attack Google [Video]


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]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. The only reason I go on Facebook is to avoid awkward conversations with family members I don’t know…

    They’re like the Apple of Social Networks. Pure evil.

    1. I go on FB to play my games…Castle Age, Superhero City, etc.; I would miss them once I move to G+, unless I keep my FB just for those.

      Other than that…post pictures…maybe a video here and there…

      1. Well then, good news for you: Google+ has plans for games, and it’s already in the code:


  2. Um… this was two months ago. Facebook already admitted they were involved and have parted ways with the PR firm. The circles they’re referring to are the Social circle and secondary connections that could be viewed in your Google Dashboard, not the Google+ circles.

    This is the tweet chris soghoian sent about it (on May 3rd)

    Get with the program, buddy

    Edit: I see you’ve made a few sneaky changes to the text instead of pulling it altogether. Nice.

    1. Really because the video is from six days ago?

      1. And the bloomberg report is from May 16th.

        And I tweeted about it on May 16th. And everybody and his dog wrote a story about it back then.

        Edit: Engadget article about it, dated May 12th


        1. Dude, just shut up. Obviously it’s news to everybody else here. Quit ruining the fun.

          1. You are missing the point. It’s not just that the story is old, it’s that he’s completely misrepresented the story. This has nothing to do with Google+. Google+ didn’t even exist when this story broke.

            This was about the Social Circle and secondary connections in your Google dashboard.

          2. +1. People from phandroid shouldnt be considered journalists.

          3. Unfortunately this kind of error is all too common on the internet. Old stories get dug up all the time and clothed to appear relevant with today’s headlines.’

            So… here we have a story that has nothing to do with G+ but… because Facebook and Google are mentioned in the same sentence we get to watch this youtube video embeded in a paragraph about Google+.

            It is lazy. Very lazy. But that is the blogosphere.

    2. Im amazed that this article is still here half an hour later. Especially considering the writer read the comments and ‘liked’ Richard’s comment above.

      So even after being corrected Chris Chavez refuses to do the 5 minutes of research it would take to show that he is entirely wrong.

      Lazy, lazy reporting

  3. If they’d let my friends in, sure. It’s lonely in Google+.

    1. My thoughts exactly. The idea of + is awesome but I literally have 2 friends that are in + at the time. My “stream” is very boring currently. I’d love to open this sucker up.

      1. I follow a bunch of tech blog writers and some Googlers along with a few other niche things I am interested in and I have a great stream… You have to understand that G+ is in limited testing and most of the people on there are Techie’s that got invites because they were on the ball when the invites went out. The only ones that got easy invites were insiders and their followers.

  4. Can’t wait to switch to google+ and not use facebook!!!

  5. It sounds a lot like you are asking me and others if we think M.Z. is an a$5hol3….. He is…. And NO, I don’t believe for 1 second that google+ is less secure than FB….. I’m not an idiot, so I will watch and see. In the meantime, we all know M.Z. Is a dik. And he wants to own us all…. My answer is “you and me and everybody else own this info. Not just you” and possession is 9/10 of the law. Me, I already exported most of what FB claims as theirs, and I don’t care if they ban me. REMEMBER, he needs us more than we need him. We have the power, and now we have a place to go…. The question is, when can we join?

  6. facebook is the next evil next to Microsoft

  7. Just let me in Google. Can’t wait to be able to post what I want without worrying about the wrong people seeing info.

  8. just another reason for me to not like em.
    BTW no one has liked this on FB yet. <3

  9. I am so ready to dump FB.. Crap like this story just adds to the distrust…. Google allowed FB to scour our personal information from Gmail (with our approval)… I have never been comfortable with FB’s constantly trying to get personal information from me… yes I know that is what G+ is about so I will wait to see what they do in the future….

  10. me please.. [email protected]

    1. Hmm… I actually believe that that is your email.

  11. this story happened before the release day of G+.
    for those who are in Google+, here are some good tips to get know G+ Network:

  12. If Facebook loses, where will here get his money from? Heh heh…

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