Elliot Schrage, a Fb official who leads their Communication and Coverage crew, took accountability Wednesday for establishing the corporate’s relationship with Definers, a public relations agency he confirmed was requested to look into billionaire philanthropist George Soros.
The assertion from Schrage, who has been on the firm for a decade and introduced his departure in June, was posted within the Fb newsroom Wednesday and in it, he defined why Definers was employed and what duties they have been requested to hold out.
Fb developed relationships with each Republican and Democrat-associated corporations, he mentioned, together with Definers which “was one of many Republican-affiliate companies.”
“We requested Definers to do what public relations companies sometimes do to help an organization — sending us press clippings, conducting analysis, writing messaging paperwork, and reaching out to reporters,” Schrage mentioned.
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Within the assertion, Schrage immediately acknowledged that Fb requested Definers “to do work on” Soros, after they mentioned he “attacked” the corporate and described them as “a ‘menace to society.’”
“Definers researched this utilizing public info,” he mentioned.
He additionally supplied his ideas on the work being labeled “as opposition analysis,” saying that he thinks “it could be irresponsible and unprofessional for us to not perceive the backgrounds and potential conflicts of curiosity of our critics.”
The work Definers supplied additionally proved to be useful in responding “to unfair claims the place Fb has been singled out for criticism, and to positively distinguish us from opponents,” Schrage mentioned.
Even so, Schrage mentioned that Definers obtained carried away in its work to discredit Fb’s critics. The system he arrange on the corporate’s communications crew “failed right here and I am sorry I allow you to all down,” he wrote.
“I remorse my very own failure right here,” he continued.
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Definer’s connection to Fb was uncovered in a narrative printed by The New York Instances earlier this month. The social media firm lower ties with Definers after the report.
Schrage’s assertion was initially despatched out as a memo to firm staff on Tuesday earlier than it was posted of their newsroom.
In an internet assertion from Definers, the corporate acknowledged Schrage’s feedback and mentioned he “clearly acknowledged that Definers carried out the communications and public affairs providers that Fb requested us to offer. That’s how we run our enterprise – the consumer comes first, all the time.”
Whereas going by elements of Schrage’s assertion, Definers mentioned they weren’t employed as an opposition analysis agency and mentioned their work pertaining to Soros.
“The cost that this public information analysis by some means constituted a ‘smear marketing campaign’ in opposition to Mr. Soros and anti-Fb teams is a very false and an unlucky a part of the story,” the assertion mentioned.
Fox Information’ James Rogers and The Related Press contributed to this report.