Facebook has cut ties with Definers Public Affairs following a New York Times article of an effort to discredit anti-Facebook protesters by linking them with George Soros.
The campaign tied the billionaire investor, whom the NYT on Nov. 14 called “a longtime boogeyman to mainstream conservatives and the target of intense anti-Semitic smears on the far right,” as the driving force behind the anti-Facebook movement.
The NYT reported that Definers tapped its business relationships, lobbying a Jewish civil rights group to cast some criticism of the company as anti-Semitic.
In a blog post, Facebook said it ended its contract with Definers on Nov. 14.
The social media giant took aim at the NYT, calling its report that it hired Definers to spread misinformation or write articles on its behalf incorrect.
Facebook blogged on Nov. 15:
“Definers did encourage members of the press to look into the funding of 'Freedom from Facebook,' an anti-Facebook organization.
"The intention was to demonstrate that it was not simply a spontaneous grassroots campaign, as it claimed, but supported by a well-known critic of our company.
"To suggest that this was an anti-Semitic attack is reprehensible and untrue.”
Matt Rhoades, who was Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign manager, launched Definers in 2015. Earlier he was VP at DCI Group in Washington.
Definers made news in December 2017 after it quit a $120K media monitoring contract with the Environmental Protection Agency after Mother Jones reported the information was used to track coverage of employees critical of now-former EPA chief Scott Pruitt.