Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 12th May 2011 21:10 UTC
In the News What about a little Nixonian intrigue? A respected public relations firm has been caught executing a secret smear campaign against Google to large media outlets, trying to make Google looks bad (or worse, depending on your point of view). Who hired this firm to do this? You'd think Microsoft or Apple, it's right up their alley - but no, it's actually Facebook.
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It was dishonest of Google
by fretinator on Thu 12th May 2011 21:29 UTC
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They should have created a cool games like everyone else - that's the honest way to obtain users' private information. I thinking they could call it:

Animal Farm
Join in with the farm animals as they overthrow the evil farmer. Earn points that allow you to wear people clothes and walk upright. At the end of the day, the animal that is the most equal gets to sleep in the farm house!

Reply Score: 7

Comment by koki
by koki on Thu 12th May 2011 22:08 UTC
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They are just making the script for Social Network 2. ;)

Reply Score: 7

Large Corporations
by hackus on Thu 12th May 2011 22:57 UTC
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I mean I hope nobody is surprised about this sorta thing.

The government has hired, MILLIONS of "psuedo" people on Facebook that have families, a house and a dog and kat with 2 kids. Even a complete social friends list made up of real and fake people.

Except. Guess what?

Do these people all exist? No, some are complete fabrications. However, they are all very useful.

If there are posts about Fukushima's radiation, they can be called on to put out the correct government version of the story.

"Fukushima is no where near Chernobyl. It is all under control, and the only people who don't think so are lunatics."

They can also be used in times of crisis to control feed back loops into psyops operations to control public opinion.

Corporations do the same to control opinions about products...."Oh I love mu Zune!!! It does everything, much better and cheaper than an iPod!"

"So what if SONY leaked your credit card info, just cancel the card or check your bill next month. I think most people are just making to big a deal out of this whole situation."


Can anyone tell the difference between the government way of doing things online and the corporations?

Of course not, because essentially they are one in the same.

It is strange how the online reality really focuses what is the same, and what is different. Very refreshing.


Edited 2011-05-12 23:02 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Large Corporations
by Morgan on Fri 13th May 2011 05:40 UTC in reply to "Large Corporations"
Morgan Member since:

I think you and melkor down there should compare notes.

Oh wait I get it, you two are proving your point by both posting similar conspiracy theories! Smooth.


Okay all this conspiracy nonsense aside, is anyone really surprised by Facebook's actions? After all, Google has openly admitted to scraping data from other services before, and FB is pretty late to the "let's attack Google" party. I figured something like this would have happened a long time ago.

And it does bother me sometimes how much info both companies have on me. Facebook knows who all my friends, coworkers and alumni are, which ones I am truly friends with (the ones I interact with the most), who my girlfriend is, my email address, which genres of movies, music and books I like, my political and religious views, and so on. If they were to peruse my daily message conversations with my girlfriend they would know much more intimate (not that kind of intimate you perv!) information too, such as where I went and what I did that day, my feelings about a lot of things and anything else we talk about since it's somewhat of a long distance relationship.

On the other hand, Google knows everything I've ever been curious about. They have all my email messages, most of my wireless chats, my home's exact GPS coordinates, what kind of car I drive and its state of repair (I look up parts, it's an older "mechanic's dream" car), which news stories interest me, which apps I use on my phone, and so much more.

Now, imagine if the two companies were to merge one day. There would be very little the new company wouldn't know about us, and perhaps a lot that we don't know ourselves. The combined knowledge, especially for users who go all in with both services, would be near-omniscience regarding that person's life.

I think I understand my dad's extreme aversion to using either service. He won't even install Chromium on his computers, he feels that Google still might be able to see where he browses, innocent as his queries are.

Reply Score: 7

yeah well
by melkor on Fri 13th May 2011 01:54 UTC
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Since FB is nothing but a front for the CIA and google seems to not necessarily be working with the CIA and NSA by spying on users like FB, Microsoft, Apple and Yahoo do, of course they want to be discredited and bad mouthed!!!


Reply Score: 1

RE: yeah well
by Morgan on Fri 13th May 2011 05:24 UTC in reply to "yeah well"
Morgan Member since:

Do huh?

Dude, your tinfoil hat is on too tight again. Granted, Facebook is far from innocent when it comes to protecting user privacy, but saying something like that is bordering on insanity. And that's coming from someone who can appreciate and even entertain the notion of a good conspiracy theory at times.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: yeah well - "a good conspiracy theory"
by jabbotts on Fri 13th May 2011 13:28 UTC in reply to "RE: yeah well"
jabbotts Member since:

See.. that there is the difference though isn't it.. ;)

Reply Score: 2

by smitty on Fri 13th May 2011 02:39 UTC
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In other words, Google is copying all the information Facebook has about it's users, and Facebook is pissed off because they wanted to make money off that information all by themselves.

Reply Score: 4

these companies are run by children
by unclefester on Fri 13th May 2011 06:07 UTC
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The problem is that many computer related technology companies were founded by incredibly immature and socially dysfunctional geeks (insert name here). There are virtually no responsible adults in authority in any of these companies.

You never hear car companies publicly criticising their competitors or ridiculing rival technology. They don't sue because some other maker allegedly copies the shape of their tail lights or also names a model the "GT".

Car makers consider reverse engineering and blatant copying to be perfectly legitimate tactics as long as IP isn't directly infringed. No one sues because everyone else also does it. The original MX-5 was a blatant copy of the original 1960s Lotus Elise. In the 60s and 70s Nissan made almost perfect copies of Mercedes six cylinder and Ford V8 engines with many interchangeable parts.

Edited 2011-05-13 06:25 UTC

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:

"Car makers consider reverse engineering and blatant copying to be perfectly legitimate tactics as long as IP isn't directly infringed."

hence why car manufacturers design specialty tools and attack third party mechanics and auto entusiasts (car hackers) for trying to reverse engineer and understand car computer codes.

"Why yes sir, we understand that you have 30 years of professional experience reparing automobiles but we can't allow you the ODB information and tools to properly assess and repair our recent models because you haven't paid us the exorbitant fee for that privaledge. Why yes, we understand that you are a small town mechanic and that we could instead negotiate a more reasonable fee with you however that wouldn't force car owners back into our dealerships for support. We can't allow that sort of competition to return to the market."

ha.. yeah.. car manufacturers are the apidomy of fair market competition.. sure thing..

Reply Score: 2

by Moredhas on Fri 13th May 2011 08:22 UTC
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I'd have thought long ago that Google would try and leverage Android's market position to bring Orkut back to life in English speaking countries. Google has all the services a social network like facebook offers, and then some, they're just in a disparate mess of things that use your Google account.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Orkut?
by Johann Chua on Fri 13th May 2011 12:22 UTC in reply to "Orkut?"
Johann Chua Member since:

Google Buzz never really took off, right?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Orkut?
by Moredhas on Fri 13th May 2011 20:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Orkut?"
Moredhas Member since:

It should have, but google handled the launch wrong. They didn't build any hype and then they foisted it on people and tried to auto-henerate friend lists from frequently emailed gmail contacts. Further separation from gmail wouls habe been nice.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Orkut?
by Moredhas on Fri 13th May 2011 21:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Orkut?"
Moredhas Member since:

auto-Generate, sorry. Touch screen typing is a pain...

Reply Score: 2

Sorry, but I don't buy the "smear" title
by tomcat on Fri 13th May 2011 19:15 UTC
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Yeah, what Facebook did may seem a little slimey but, frankly, it's not as if Google is lily-white here. Google has more than earned its reputation as a privacy-violating company. They tend to push tech out without considering privacy implications -- and it's only when they get called on the carpet by authorities that they backpedal. Facebook has faced similar criticism. It's time to stop looking at either company as anything other than a profit engine. They simply don't give a damn about your privacy, if it interferes with that profit engine.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Fri 13th May 2011 22:38 UTC
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Respected? I don't respect Facebook for the way they treat privacy.

Reply Score: 1

New Media Duplicity
by atsureki on Mon 16th May 2011 02:03 UTC
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You'd think Microsoft or Apple, it's right up their alley

Not really - Microsoft puts their misinformation campaigns right on their site (viz. Get The Facts), while on the odd occasion Apple slanders someone, Jobs will just get on the phone or in front of a camera and start delivering flat insults.

Reply Score: 2