Yet another controversy for Facebook. The very serious New York Times has accused the first social network in the world to have orchestrated a smear campaign against its critics, including the billionaire-philantrope George Soros. In the night from Wednesday to Thursday, November 15, Facebook is prohibited to have orchestrated such a campaign in order to divert attention from his disastrous management of the case of the interference in Russian in the presidential election of 2016, through the platform to 2,27 billion users. The George Soros’s Open Society Foundation has not been convinced and has published in the wake of an open letter to the tone scathing in which she claims that Facebook is launching an independent investigation to shed light on this matter.

In a long paper based on dozens of anonymous sources, the New York Times revealed Wednesday evening, the multiple scandals and controversies that have tarnished the image of the network founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg. The article does of startling revelations, nor on the case of Cambridge Analytica sharing of sensitive data without the knowledge of users or on the misinformation campaign by pharmacies Russian. These two scandals have permanently undermined confidence in the social network free, but who transforms into a mountain of money over the lives of virtual entrusted to it by its users.

Lobbying muscled

The daily reference rate, however, has revealed that Facebook hired a public relations company, Definers of Public Affairs, to fight his critics. The New York Times accuses Definers have wanted to bind Mr. Soros to these criticisms by disseminating false information, and for the discredit it. The NYT is ” wrong to suggest we have ever asked Definers to pay for, or to write articles for the account to Facebook, or spreading false information “, defends the social network’s news night. The Internet giant has “broken his contract” with the company of public relations, close to the republican Party.

Definers has “encouraged journalists” to lean on the financing of a campaign against Facebook to show that it was not a campaign spontaneous, bottom-up, but “that it was supported by a well-known critic of our company,” says Facebook, without mentioning George Soros. And to add : “to Suggest that (the action of the public relations company) was an attack anti-semitic is wrong and false,” says the group, headed by Mark Zuckerberg, himself of the jewish faith, just as Sheryl Sandberg, number two in charge of daily operations. George Soros is one of the pet peeves of populist leaders in the world and it was taken for target by the us president Donald Trump himself. It is primarily used as a bogeyman to the anti-semites of all stripes.

“The methods of the enemies of democracy,”

The tone of the open letter of the foundation of George Soros addressed to Sheryl Sandberg does not suggest that armistice. “We call on Facebook to stop using methods inspired by those of the enemies of democracy around the world,” writes Patrick Gaspard, the president of the foundation. “Facebook should launch an independent investigation on what happened and publish a full report revealing the techniques used in their efforts to denigrate the activists and George Soros,” writes Mr. Gaspard, considering it as ” a social network of the first order has not only hosted a disinformation campaign, but he orchestrated and promoted “.

This new case falls bad for a company who is also the face, after years of exponential growth, a slowdown, even if it remains extremely profitable because of a saturation of the pub and a lack of attractiveness to younger people. Moreover, Facebook had been a hit of tobacco stock in the wake of its quarterly results were disappointing in July, losing $ 120 billion-cap market in a single session, a never-before-seen on Wall Street. The results for the third quarter confirmed the slowdown which involved the confidence and the enormous costs of security and a better control of the content.