What to Know
Facebook confirms to Politico that it removed some of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s ads calling for its breakup.
A spokesperson says it was restoring them “in the interest of allowing robust debate.”
Warren says the removal is a sign that Facebook and other tech giants hold too much power.
Warren’s ad was an extension of her call to “break up Big Tech,” which she announced in a Medium post published Friday. The Massachusetts Democrat wrote that companies with an annual global revenue of at least $25 billion should not be able to own a public online marketplace or platform and sell on that platform themselves. She also promised to take steps to unwind “anti-competitive mergers” including Facebook’s acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram.
“Three companies have vast power over our economy and our democracy. Facebook, Amazon, and Google, ” Warren’s removed ads read, according to Politico. “We all use them. But in their rise to power, they’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field in their favor.”
When the ads were taken down, Facebook reportedly replaced them with a message that said, “This ad was taken down because it goes against Facebook’s advertising policies.”
In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said the ads that featured Facebook’s logo were removed “because they violated our policies against use of our corporate logo,” but that they were being restored “in the interest of allowing robust debate.”
Warren said in a tweet that Facebook’s initial removal of her ads showed the platform’s outsize power.
“Curious why I think FB has too much power?” she tweeted Monday. “Let’s start with their ability to shut down a debate over whether FB has too much power. Thanks for restoring my posts. But I want a social media marketplace that isn’t dominated by a single censor. #BreakUpBigTech.”
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