Definers Public Affairs was reportedly hired by Facebook to actively push an unfavourable public narrative against Facebook’s rivals. This included the pitching of negative articles about Apple and Google to influential Journalists and the linking of financier George Soros to an anti-Facebook group called Freedom From Facebook.
Elliot Schrage, former head of public policy and communications at Facebook, has taken the blame for this in an internal memo originally posted by TechCrunch within which Schrage defended the use of the firm for ‘opposition research’.
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His decision to step down came after the Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this year and is, so far, the only senior figure to depart Facebook over these events. Schrage reported to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and in a recent interview with CNN, Mark Zuckerberg made it clear that he had no intention of leaving his post or removing Ms Sandberg from hers.
Elliot Schrage will be replaced by former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, which considering his former role as a European Commission trade negotiator, suggests Facebook is attempting to defend themselves from European lawmaker’s growing mistrust of the technology industry, particularly in the wake of GDPR.