Defenders attempted to undermine the activists by associating them to Soros
After the recent unexpected exposé in the New York Times revealing how Facebook resorted to guerrilla tactics to divert blame amid their various scandals, which included hiring a PR firm to spread rumors about liberal financier George Soros, the globalist is demanding answers.
As Facebook continues to reel from Capitol Hill scrutiny for allowing Russians to acquire advertising during the 2016 US election, the tech giant is still being blamed for Hillary Clinton’s election loss.
In an effort to defend Facebook, the PR firm Definers used their “activists” who attempted to undermine the company’s tech rivals by associating them with Soros.
According to a research document, circulated by Definers to reporters, Soros was the unacknowledged force behind what seemed to be a broad anti-Facebook movement.
Soros attacked Facebook and Google in a speech at the World Economic Forum in January, describing them as a monopolist “menace” with “neither the will nor the inclination to protect society against the consequences of their actions.”
According to ZH: Definers pressed reporters to explore the financial connections between Mr. Soros’s family or philanthropies and groups that were members of Freedom from Facebook, such as Color of Change, an online racial justice organization, as well as a progressive group founded by Mr. Soros’s son.
An official at Mr. Soros’s Open Society Foundations said the philanthropy had supported both member groups, but not Freedom from Facebook, and had made no grants to support campaigns against Facebook.) -NYT
Responding to the Times report, Soros adviser Michael Vachon responded Thursday, stating “It is alarming that Facebook would engage in these unsavory tactics, apparently in response to George’s public criticism in Davos earlier this year of the company’s handling of hate speech and propaganda on its platform.”
The Times’ story raises the question of whether Facebook has used similar methods to go after other critics or public officials who have tried to hold Facebook accountable.
Zuckerberg and Sandberg’s claim that they were unaware of what the company was doing is more alarming than reassuring. What else is Facebook up to?
The company should hire an outside expert to do a thorough investigation of its lobbying and PR work and make the results public.
Until then, this episode further demonstrates that Facebook continues to pursue its narrow corporate interests at the expense of the public interest. -Michael Vachon
Patrick Gaspard, president of Soros’s Open Society Foundations wrote to Sandberg:
“I was shocked to learn from the New York Times that you and your colleagues at Facebook hired a Republican opposition research firm to stir up animus toward George Soros,” adding:
“As you know, there is a concerted right-wing effort the world over to demonize Mr. Soros and his foundations, which I lead—an effort which has contributed to death threats and the delivery of a pipe bomb to Mr. Soros’ home. You are no doubt also aware that much of this hateful and blatantly false and anti-Semitic information is spread via Facebook.”
The notion that your company, at your direction, actively engaged in the same behavior to try to discredit people exercising their First Amendment rights to protest Facebook’s role in disseminating vile propaganda is frankly astonishing to me.
It’s been disappointing to see how you have failed to monitor hate and misinformation on Facebook’s platform. To now learn that you are active in promoting these distortions is beyond the pale.
These efforts appear to have been part of a deliberate strategy to distract from the genuine accountability problems your company continues to grapple with.
This is guilty, and an offense to the core values Open Society seeks to advance.
But at the bottom, this is not about George Soros or the foundations. Your methods threaten the very values underpinning our democracy. -Patrick Gaspard.