How Facebook's Dreadfully Executed Smear Campaign Against Google Has Increased Scrutiny Of Facebook's Own Privacy Issues
from the backfiring-in-a-big-way dept
It appears that Facebook’s really weak (and childish) attempt to hire big-time PR firm Burson-Marsteller to run a smear campaign against Google is backfiring in even bigger ways. Beyond just making the company look bad and petty, the whole campaign turns out to have done the exact opposite of its intention. That is, the point of the smear campaign was to call into question Google’s treatment of user privacy in its Social Circle feature, allegedly because Facebook was sick of being the focus of everyone’s privacy concerns.
Well, consider that plan a huge failure. While most people analyzing Google’s privacy setup with Social Circle say that Facebook’s concerns are significantly overstated, the whole fiasco has actually resulted in more people questioning Facebook’s methods of handling privacy, and they don’t look all that good. In fact, Steven Levy points out that the attack on Google is so misguided, because even if Social Circle ended up being a privacy violation, the real problem would have come from Facebook, rather than Google:
But here’s what makes the least sense — if there were privacy problems about Facebook information in Google Social Circle (which has now been transformed into a different product called Social Search), they may well have been a result of Facebook?s own practices.
Facebook was griping that Google is getting information about its users without permission. But some information that users share with Facebook is available publicly, even to people who aren?t their friends in in their social networks ? or even are members of Facebook. It?s not because outsiders raided the service and exposed that information. It?s because Facebook chose to expose it.
It appears this strategy is backfiring on multiple levels…