Facebook’s outgoing head of communications and public policy said that he knew and approved the decision to hire controversial public relations firm, Definers Public Affairs, according to an internal memo reported by TechCrunch.
Elliot Schrage, who announced in June that he was leaving, said his team asked Definers to push negative narratives about Facebook’s competitors. But he denied that the company asked the PR firm to distribute or create fake news, according to the TechCrunch report.
He also admitted that Facebook asked Definers to conduct research on liberal financier George Soros.
This blog has long pointed out that “public relations” is propaganda under a different name. Edward Bernays, the “father of public relations”, proposed in the 1920s that organization’s should retain a “public relations counsel”. As events in Europe unfolded in the 1930s in to the 1940s, the term “propaganda” went out of favor and was replaced by “public relations”. PR people are propagandists.
It is notable that Facebook’s own public relations staff were managing a vociferous propaganda campaign to smear those who were critical of Facebook.