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Facebook parts ways with Definers Public Affairs, firm that attacked company’s rivals and critics

November 15, 2018

Facebook on Thursday said it parted ways with Definers Public Affairs, a Washington-based consulting firm, hours after it was revealed that the latter’s work involved quietly attacking the social network’s competition and critics.

In a statement, Facebook said it ended its contract with Definers late Wednesday following publication of an expos containing details about their relationship, including the firm’s work discrediting rivals including anti-Facebook activists, Apple and Google.

Published by The New York Times, Wednesday’s report said that Definers worked for Facebook by deploying tactics that ranged from smearing its critics as anti-Semitic, to penning purported news article attacking fellow tech titans.

“The New York Times is wrong to suggest that we ever asked Definers to pay for or write articles on Facebook’s behalf or to spread misinformation,” the social network said in statement Thursday.

“Our relationship with Definers was well known by the media not least because they have on several occasions sent out invitations to hundreds of journalists about important press calls on our behalf,” said Facebook.

Definers did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

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