Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has vowed to dismantle the monopolies of Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple if elected. This move would both improve the market and reinvigorate journalism, as Paste’s Jacob Weindling wrote, not to mention fight back against the dissemination of viral misinformation which contributed to Donald Trump’s election.
Facebook recently proved Sen. Warren’s platform promise all the more necessary when ads she put up on Friday condemning tech giants—including the social media network—were taken down, as per Politico. While Facebook has now reversed their decision, this incident serves as a chilling reminder of the amount of control they wield over what information the public sees, in particular criticism of their business.
“Three companies have vast power over our economy and our democracy. Facebook, Amazon and Google,” the ads in question read. “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 taken down, a message replaced the ads saying: “This ad was taken down because it goes against Facebook’s advertising policies.”
The Massachusetts senator tweeted in response:
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. #BreakUpBigTechhttps://t.co/UPS6dozOxn— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) March 11, 2019
As a Facebook spokesperson explained to Politico, “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.”
Over a dozen other ads Warren placed about breaking up tech monopolies were not taken down.