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Lime used Facebook PR firm Definers to smear Bird, TechCrunch reports



lime eletric scooter 5
has become embroiled in the Definers debate.

Michel Euler/AP

  • Definers Public Affairs, the firm Facebook used to
    smear critics, sent emails on behalf of electric scooter
    company Lime, TechCrunch reports.
  • Some of the emails were candid about being press
    releases sent for Lime, but one was much more oblique and
    targeted rival scooter company Bird.
  • The email nudged journalists to scrutinise Bird’s
    numbers on its website.

Facebook was rocked last week by
a New York Times exposé
which revealed that it hired
Republican-linked PR firm Definers Public Affairs to smear its
Facebook swiftly cut ties with the company.

TechCrunch reports
that electric scooter startup Lime hired
the same PR firm, which sent journalists emails trying to
discredit Lime’s rival, Bird.

TechCrunch went back through the emails it had received from
Definers Public Affairs, the company named in the Times’s report,
and found multiple instances of what it termed “oppo

Read more:

The research firm Facebook hired to smear its critics has been
pushing an anti-Apple campaign that has Qualcomm’s fingerprints
on it

TechCrunch says the only emails it received from Definers, which
were clearly marked as press releases commissioned by a company,
were for Lime.

However, TechCrunch also says it received a much more oblique
pitch which it said was likely to have been sent on behalf of
Lime. The email read:

“I read your piece on Bird’s custom scooter and delivery. Just
wanted to flag that Bird’s numbers seem off based on what they
have listed on their website:

“They’ve taken a bunch off the list. Seems odd since they just
announced 100 cities two weeks ago. Thought you’d find this

Lime is yet to respond to Business Insider’s repeated requests
for comment. Bird declined to comment.

Lime and Bird are among a host of companies fighting it out to
dominate the electric scooter market around the world. They were
only founded last year but have raised millions of dollars in
funding and racked up a collective valuation of more than $3

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