Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)
Did anyone at Google know? If they did, when did they know it? Before or after?
And when they knew, what did they say? What did they do? And what will they do now?
You see how many questions are engendered by one simple fact: there is a Zuckerberg now working at Google.
You see how much disequilibrium might be created when you buy a company and along with it comes a potential infil-traitor?
Should you have been placed under gadgetless house arrest by Twitter and NBC, you might not have noticed that Google bought a company called Wildfire Interactive. With it, as Business Insider helpfully emotes it, came a Zuckerberg — Arielle Zuckerberg, younger sister of the Facebook emperor.
Yes, she is but a junior product manager. But junior product managers have eyes, ears, and predatory instincts. They surely make the best spies because they are so junior, yet they can actually manage.
You might think it was mere humor when Randi Zuckerberg — she who escaped the stifling pressure of working for her brother in order to enter something that might approach reality, albeit on Bravo TV — tweeted: “Congrats Wildfire! There are officially now more Zuckerberg family members working for Google than Facebook! #awkward ;).”
You might have thought that she meant her brother Mark didn’t work for Facebook, but merely owned it. But, no.
Randi — I feel I can call her that, as I once helped her with her baby on a plane, via Twitter (I gave her cynical advice, naturally) — was referring to Harry Schmidt. He is a product strategist. He also worked at Wildfire. And he also happens to be married to Mark Zuckerberg’s sister Donna, making him, of course, Zuck’s brother-in-law.
So, you see, some may not be so easily suckered by Randi’s supposedly disarming emoticons.
Some may be concerned as to where loyalties might lie on the coarse, disturbed battlefield where nothing is social and everything is networked.
What if Facebook should suddenly announce a new — what’s the Zuckerbergian term? — ah, yes, iteration? What if it’s called Facebook+ and happens to include fascinating features that Google hasn’t yet thrust into Beta, but truly, really thought of?
What if Facebook declares, one day in the near future, that it has created a self-propelling skateboard, one that will guide humans through traffic and beneath trucks?
What if Arielle Zuckerberg — who does enjoy offering her ideas about Facebook publicly — is hauled onto Larry Page’s carpet and accused of subterfuge? What if Harry Schmidt has already been placed in medieval stocks before she arrives?
Arielle Zuckerberg has already expressed her discomfort. Fox News reports that she has declared: “I’m in Israel on Birthright and I just found out that I’m now a Google employee. Not gonna lie … This feels pretty awkward.”
Did she declare this on her new Google+ account? Not quite. She declared it on Facebook. Loyalty, you see, loyalty.
I see a statement already being created by a stressed Googlie HR person. I see only one phrase very clearly: “By mutual consent.”