Facebook Admits Planting Media Stories
Surely by now we’re all aware the people behind facebook are scum, and that all global corporations are essentially the same. But in case you exist within the naive media bubble of ignorance, here’s just one recent minor incident that amply displays how big business operate. And of course, it has none of your interests at heart.
Facebook recently unveiled plans to introduce email to their network, so planting these stories to look as if they come from independent sources is clearly part of their marketing strategy.
For the past few days, a mystery has been unfolding in Silicon Valley. Somebody, it seems, hired Burson-Marsteller, a top public-relations firm, to pitch anti-Google stories to newspapers, urging them to investigate claims that Google was invading people’s privacy. Burson even offered to help an influential blogger write a Google-bashing op-ed, which it promised it could place in outlets like The Washington Post, Politico, and The Huffington Post.
The plot backfired when the blogger turned down Burson’s offer and posted the emails that Burson had sent him. It got worse when USA Today broke a story accusing Burson of spreading a “whisper campaign” about Google “on behalf of an unnamed client.”
But who was the mysterious unnamed client? While fingers pointed at Apple and Microsoft, The Daily Beast discovered that it’s a company nobody suspected – Facebook.
Confronted with evidence, a Facebook spokesman last night confirmed that Facebook hired Burson.
Facebook Busted in Clumsy Smear on Google by Dan Lyons
Facebook paid PR firm to smear Google Guardian
Facebook admits hiring PR firm to smear Google engadget
Facebook confesses to Google smear bid Telegraph
Facebook in PR plot against Google Financial Times
…to name just a few!
I dedicate this post to each and every idiot I meet who dare look past my abundant jolly optimism and instead accuse me of being depressingly cynical in nature. Though given the choice, I think I should rather be accused of cynicism, than exist as a half-witted drone spoon-fed by mainstream media.
Not convinced? Then stick around children, because I have numerous similar quantifiable examples yet to print. ;p
Silence Gives Way To Consent.
I was about to publish, when coincidentally I received the following advice.
A friend actually suggested, if I disapprove of said news, I should close my facebook account!
What a helpful, uplifting and progressive world view to have.
What utter naivety.
If in doubt, blurt out the first superficial response your brain can scramble. Ignore complexity; the finer detail; the sub-text.
Normally one has to read the tabloids to experience such reactionary over-simplification.
Evolution, why have you forsaken us so?
UPDATED: Coverage of the day.
Channel 4 News
11 May 2011: There’s to be a march, rally and lobbying of Parliament today, to express solidarity and anger at cuts threatening disabled people’s benefits and rights, and vital social care services.
If you can’t make it to that London, there are various other ways to make your protest heard, including writing to your MP and protesting online see The Hardest Hit website.
Below is a small selection highlighting some of the effects these cuts will have, not just for those in need of long-term care, but for everyone. Also, most importantly, the deliberate lies presented by Government, published via the NHS in a public document called ‘Working Together for a Stronger NHS’, that breaches both the Civil Service Code of Conduct and the Advertising Standards Authority code.
“Disabled people take anti-cuts protest to the courts. Lawyers await high court judgements on legal actions against council plans to cut social care.”
Karen McVeigh: The Guardian
“Social care cuts: ‘The people concerned are invisible’. The most vulnerable sections of society are emerging as the worst hit by council cuts.”
Karen McVeigh: The Guardian
Prime Minister’s Health Campaign Misleads Public
“There’s a new document on the Department of Health website called ‘Working Together for a Stronger NHS’. This manages the feat of breaching the Civil Service Code of Conduct and the Advertising Standards Authority code.”
John McTernan: The Telegraph
“The BMA were so concerned about the reforms that they held their first special representative meeting in 20 years and passed motion after motion condemning almost every aspect of the Health and Social Care Bill including one stating: “This meeting deplores the Government’s use of misleading and inaccurate information to denigrate the NHS and to justify the Health and Social Care Bill reforms.”
“The health bill is the project of a Government determined to dismember the public realm and roll back the state to allow public money to be diverted to the private sector. There is no mandate for such changes and there has been no public debate about them.”
Dr Jonathon Tomlinson: Channel 4 News website
“I’d expect this from UKIP, or the Daily Mail. Not from a government leaflet”
“HM Government have issued a new leaflet to justify their NHS reforms: Working Together For A Stronger NHS. It was produced by Number 10, appears on the Department of Health website, and many of the figures it contains are misleading, out of date, or flatly incorrect.”
Ben Goldacre: The Guardian
“Help the disabled to fight for what is right”
THIS country never had a more noble, idealistic vision than the welfare state.
Even more than World War Two, the creation of the welfare state is our finest hour.
Over the years the welfare state has been used, abused and had the micky taken out of it.
But it still has that glorious foundation – to protect the weak, to support the vulnerable, to offer a helping hand to those who need it the most.
On Wednesday May 11, thousands of disabled people and their supporters will join The Hardest Hit protest in Westminster. To support the campaign, and to fight cuts to support for disabled people, go to thehardesthit.wordpress.com
If the welfare state does not exist to help the hardest hit, then it has lost sight of why it was built.
Tony Parsons: Mirror
Disability benefit cuts ‘could breach law’
Plans to cut disability benefits could breach human rights laws, the government has been warned.
Disability lawyer Mike Charles told the BBC the moves could be unlawful if they denied individuals the right to quality of life.
Mr Charles added: “The human rights act says individuals have a right to family life, have a right to a quality of life, the whole purpose of the DLA is to put them on an equal playing field with everyone else.
“Any proposal that fails to appreciate those fundamental rights could find it is an infringement of the law.
His opinion is backed up by other specialist disability lawyers.
Adam Curtis: The Tease
“All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace, about how computers have not liberated us but distorted and simplified our view of the world around us.”
At last we have a date for transmission and a trailer for Adam Curtis’ new BBC series : Monday 23rd May at 21:00 (9pm) on BBC2.
Moreover we have two neat trailers to whet our already eager appetite.
• Teaser Trailer 1 YouTube
• Teaser Trailer 1 Download 2.67 MB (2,802,254 bytes)
• Teaser Trailer 2 YouTube
• Teaser Trailer 2 Download 14.3 MB (15,071,216 bytes)
Further discussion at
• Adam Curtis’ BBC blog
More AC from around the web
• Adam Curtis article about Osama Bin Laden in the Guardian
“Stewart Lee, on TV, fills my day with certain Glee.”
Stewart Lee’s 2nd Comedy Vehicle: Wednesday, BBC 2 at 23:20 for the next six weeks, or until the fan belt goes.
The BAFTA-nominated Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle returns for a second series on BBC Two.
In this first episode, Stewart looks at the subject of charity. Or rather he tries to, but gets rather sidetracked into talking about crisps, his granddad and whether this new series is going to have any actual jokes in it.
The show is shot before a live audience, with a guest cameo by Armando Iannucci.
– BBC press release
The second series of SLCV will begin transmission on BBC2 in the post-newsnight slot on Wednesday May 4th at 11.20pm. We were asked to create a show to try and carve out the post-newsnight slot for comedy and have done so.
The material comprises the 3 hours I worked up in the Vegetable Stew shows August-December 2010, and ten minutes of old stuff, and has been seen by less than 25 000 guinea-pig people live in advance of transmission.
The material, except the ten minutes of old stuff, will not be available commercially in any other format than as part of SLCV series 2 and was generated specifically with the TV format in mind.
– Stewart Lee
‘There’ll be a 2nd series of Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle. Huzzah! Huzzah!’
“Cock-A-Hoop About New Vehicle. I’m delighted that BBC2 have recommissioned SLCV and am really looking forward to getting the team back together to make an even more irritating series than the first. I can’t believe it, frankly, and I am completely cock-a-hoop.”
– BBC Blog : 2010/02/09