Facebook hired the company for negative news about Google and Apple

Nov

15

2018

Facebook has hired a company to blame Google and Apple in reports, in order to divert attention from their own problems. This is evident from an extensive background story from The New York Times.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg summed up the criticism of Apple director Tim Cook so personally that he forbade the management of Facebook to use iPhones, reports The New York Times in an extensive story, for which the newspaper interviewed more than fifty people involved. The reason for Zuckerberg was that many more Facebook users have Android phones than iPhones.

In addition, the company hired Definers Public Affairs in October 2017, a company that runs a conservative news site with NTK Network to spread negative news about competitors. That happened too; NTK comments negatively in various articles about Apple director Tim Cook, as in this article on human rights and privacy . NTK articles also reach larger conservative news sites such as Breitbart.

Spreading negative messages about competitors has long been known as PR strategy in times of crisis, but until now there was no evidence that Facebook had done so. The company also used various other strategies in the aftermath of the Cambridge scandal earlier this year. The company convinced the US Congress and House of Representatives to invite not only Facebook top woman Sheryl Sandberg but also equivalent witnesses from Twitter and Google at a hearing. The search giant refused, giving the most attention to that refusal and not to the content of the hearing. According to the newspaper that was a conscious strategy.

Facebook disputes that it has spread articles about competitors via Definers. Sandberg and Zuckerberg refused to be interviewed for the article. The legal professor and also the inventor of the term ‘net neutrality’ Tim Wu argues in his book The Curse of Bigness, published this week, for the splitting of companies such as Facebook, Amazon and Google, because they, thanks to their great political and social influence, pose a threat to the democration.

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