Social Media Insurgency: Facebook Stealing From Google According to TechCrunch

Maybe not on par with the Wikileak informant that spilled the beans regarding US classified information pertaining to the War in Afghanistan - but a social network engineer may be in a similar hot seat on the social media war-front between Google and Facebook - that is, according to a TechCrunch report.

Michael ArringtonMichael ArringtonTechCrunch's founder and co-editor, Michael Arrington has a long-time reputation of being aligned with controversy and breaking news reports based on inside information.  Over the course of the last year, he has lambasted Zynga's questionable monetization schemes by calling it "Scamville" and during an interview on stage at TechCrunch's Disrupt conference, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz actually told him to "f*ck off," after complaining that the media was expecting too much from her and her company.

On August 2, in keeping with his ability to be in the right place at the right time, Arrington released what he referred to as a "Top Secret" scoop.

"Facebook “knows all about Google’s social product plans,” and has obtained "copies of proprietary Google documents outlining their social strategy. So said a Facebook engineer at the TechCrunch party at August Capital on Friday to all within earshot."

Google has yet to confirm that they are launching a new social network. After limited success with Orkut and Buzz, talk about their Google.Me platform seems to indicate they are trying to find a "mousetrap" that will catch more mice than Facebook. However nothing has been formally released. This came on the heels of Digg's CEO Kevin Rose tweeting that he'd heard a "huge rumor" that Google was planning to launch Google.Me to compete with Facebook head-on. (See my previous post, "'Google Me' Silly - Does Google Have The 'Social Networking' Gene?")

Since Facebook has been successful in aggressively recruiting engineers and technicians from the search giant, it stands to reason that these former Google employees could have transported these 'secret' documents in their 'walking files.'  Arrington notes that while this is often done, its "reckless to boast about it." While the Facebook informant's name was not mentioned in the TechCrunch story, if proven true - this case could generate some legal action by Google against Facebook, or Facebook against TechCrunch.

Let the Social Media Wars begin…