Is Facebook at war with Google?

Facebook admitted Thursday that the social networking service is behind the public relations campaign highlighting privacy concerns with Google, according to The Washington Post.

It all began with a PR firm's negative campaign against Google's "Social Circle" feature. The firm sent out emails that said in an all-caps subject line, "Google quietly launches sweeping violation of user privacy!" according to CNN.

That was followed by a confession from Facebook, according to Forbes), saying it was the client behind the "PR firm's clumsy attempt to plant a damaging story about a Google social feature that's almost two years old."

But Facebook is attempting to alleviate the negative attention this news could bring to it, The Wall Street Journal reports.

A Facebook spokesman said, "We engaged Burson-Marsteller to focus attention on this issue, using publicly available information that could be independently verified by any media organization or analyst. The issues are serious, and we should have presented them in a serious and transparent way."

The campaign was launched because of increasing rivalries between the two companies. In November 2010, Facebook launched a new messaging system that threatened Google mail, and in 2009 Wired Magazine wrote an article entitled, "Great Wall of Facebook: The Social Network's Plan to Dominate the Internet — and Keep Google Out."

It seems each company continues to release new ideas to rival the others.

In 2009 Google launched a tool called "Social Circle," which was the focus of the recent PR campaign. The campaign highlights how "Social Circle" has privacy issues. CNET News said, "Social Circle allows users to see information that's publicly available for those they're connected with in Google Chat and Contacts. The information includes links to others' Facebook accounts, Twitter feeds and personal websites. Social Circle also allows for access to information of friends of friends, called Secondary Connections."