Facebook Accidentally Backs Up Elizabeth Warren’s Tech Breakup Argument by Censoring Ad
Facebook accidentally helped to back up Elizabeth Warren’s case for breaking it and the other tech giants apart, by removing the Democratic presidential hopeful’s ads on the issue.
Warren’s online ads, which call for stronger antitrust enforcement against Big Tech—she wants to unwind Facebook’s acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram, for one thing—featured Facebook’s logo.
The company took them down for that reason, but Politico reported the move and Facebook put the ads back up “in the interest of allowing robust debate,” as a company spokesperson told the publication.
Warren leapt on the opportunity to say Facebook’s actions had just demonstrated her point, tweeting: “Thanks for restoring my posts. But I want a social media marketplace that isn’t dominated by a single censor.”
Warren’s argument is that the biggest tech companies—namely Amazon, Google and Facebook—have too much power and “bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else.”
In the cases of Amazon and Google, she wants to stop them using their proprietary platforms to crush competitors that have no choice but to advertise there. Warren is calling for the firms to be classified as “platform utilities,” without the ability to own participants on those platforms.
Regarding Facebook, she argues the company will only fix its much-publicized problems with disinformation and privacy violations if it faces genuine competition, rather than simply buying up potential rivals as it did with WhatsApp and Instagram.