In what I consider to be the ugliest of maneuvers in social media, Facebook seems to have gone beyond all my imaginations. It will be an understatement to say it exceeds expectations of anyone online or offline. Its very political, very dirty and utterly lame to get your PR firm gaming in on the propagation of anti Google sentiments.
Google fanboy? I am, by all means but that doesn’t make me a Facebook hater, despite all that it has been doing. News of Facebook’s attempt to put Google on the fence by alleging Google’s Social Search feature to be a massive threat to privacy. Now all sounds fair if we have all put our brains out of our skulls but this could have at least been done intelligently. I mean why in the world would a company as big as Facebook not put forth the rights terms on dealing with a PR firm, especially when it plans to go down dirty? And take a hold of what it had to say:
Facebook was concerned about the privacy concerns raised by Google’s social networking push, and also that the company resents Google using Facebook data in Social Circle
So if I think my neighbor is doing something I dislike I will plot against him and get folks from elsewhere to write against him? Sounds very political of Facebook, something like the very confused US raid on Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, where statements keep changing hands. I am sorry I am jumping off topic every now and then but I am utterly disappointed with what Facebook has done. And is Facebook’s concern for user privacy the reason? Bullshit!
I think Facebook has absolutely no right to even crouch on this one. The social network was recently reported on being unaware of over 100,000 apps on its platform of over 700 Million users leaking user information. How safe is that? Probably it was the reason why it jumped out and eagerly signed a deal with Web of Trust to crowd source policing of malicious apps and pages to its users. Which is indeed a clever idea, but it shows how vulnerable the social network is or can be and why its gargantuan size makes it impossible for it to police all that comes its way via apps, links, users, etc. The real threat is, in my opinion and in those of others is Google and Larry Page’s plans to make it a giant in the social media space. face palm Facebook!
Here’s another statement from Facebook:
No ‘smear’ campaign was authorized or intended. Instead, we wanted third parties to verify that people did not approve of the collection and use of information from their accounts on Facebook and other services for inclusion in Google Social Circles—just as Facebook did not approve of use or collection for this purpose. We engaged Burson-Marsteller to focus attention on this issue, using publicly available information that could be independently verified by any media organization or analyst. The issues are serious and we should have presented them in a serious and transparent way.
You and your readers can look at the feature and decide if they have approved of this collection and use of information by clicking here when their Google account is open: http://www.google.com/s2/search/social. Of course, people who do not have Gmail accounts are still included in this collection but they have no way to view or control it.
The PR agency on the other hand mentioned that all this was against their policies and such a thing should have been declined. Well you know what, I don’t think the PR firm is to be blamed, someone from Google can endorse this post of mine or any other that slams Facebook, but explicitly getting anyone to write against your competitor is a shameful act.
If there was anything such as internet policing, Facebook should be charged a hefty sum for this act of cowardice. As for the PR firm, it should seriously try and not sell itself to such crap load of an idea.