Senator Elizabeth Warren, in her pursuit to become the Democratic presidential nominee, has been very critical of the big technology companies. Last week she announced her big plan to break up the likes of Facebook, Google, Amazon, and even Apple. And it seems that Facebook wasn’t too thrilled to be a platform publicizing Warren’s message.
Last night, Politico reported that Facebook took down several ads that specifically called for a breakup of the Silicon Valley giants. All the ads reportedly had the same text and images, and provided messaging about her new tech-focused platform. Something, however, triggered Facebook’s moderation system; the ads were removed, claiming they “[go] against Facebook’s advertising policies.”
Curious why I think FB has too much power? 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 https://t.co/UPS6dozOxn
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) March 11, 2019
After news broke about this removal, Facebook changed course. In a statement to Politico the company admitted it took the ads down: “We removed the ads because they violated our policies against use of our corporate logo. In the interest of allowing robust debate, we are restoring the ads.”
This isn’t the first time Facebook has removed posts that were critical of it. The Center for Investigative Reporting’s site Reveal tweeted last night that it too had ads removed that featured a story depicting some unsavory Facebook practices. Only after Reveal reached out to Facebook comms did the ads get restored. And that seems to be exactly what happened with Warren here.
I reached out to Facebook for additional comment and will update this post if I hear back. You can read the full Politico story here.