A high Fb government, who had already introduced his departure, took the autumn on Wednesday for hiring an outdoor public relations agency to research billionaire George Soros and generate damaging publicity on the corporate’s critics. The admission got here following a scathing report printed final week by the New York Occasions.
The Occasions reported that the tech firm had employed a Republican-affiliated public relations agency, Definers Public Affairs, which tried to discredit an anti-Fb group by linking it to Soros. Soros is a frequent goal of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and was even despatched a pipe bomb in October.
After the report was printed, Fb CEO Mark Zuckerberg instructed reporters he didn’t know his firm employed the agency, and tried to distance Fb from its actions.
Nevertheless, Elliot Schrage, Fb’s outgoing head of communication and coverage, printed a assertion on Wednesday taking accountability for hiring Definers. He stated they targeted efforts on individuals who had been important of the corporate, together with Soros, who had given a speech in January 2018, the place he “attacked Fb” and known as the corporate a “menace to society.”
Schrage stated they employed the analysis agency in 2017 after the election, and pressured that they employed analysis companies on each side of the political spectrum, with Definers solely being “one of many Republican-affiliated companies.”
He defended the motion as a option to discover out if Fb’s critics had conflicts of pursuits, and famous it was taking a look at whether or not Soros “had any monetary motivation.” Definers circulated a doc claiming that Soros was funding anti-Fb teams.
Schrage, who has been with Fb for ten years, introduced in June he would depart the corporate as soon as he had helped rent his personal alternative. In recent times, he had seen the corporate via a number of mishaps, together with the Cambridge Analytica privateness scandal.