Facebook proves Elizabeth Warren’s point by deleting her ads about breaking up Facebook

By Makena Kelly

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Today, Facebook removed a number of ads placed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign, according to Politico. The ads target tech companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook and were placed after Warren announced last week that she would work to break up the firms by reversing large acquisitions, if elected president in 2020.

Shortly after reports surfaced, Facebook told Politico that it would be restoring the ads that it had taken 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,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

According to Politico, the ads that were taken down were identical and used the same images and text in each one. Warren’s ads point out that without placing ads on Facebook, the campaign wouldn’t be able to spread its platform or message as efficiently due to the company’s sheer size and ability to target specific voters.

“Three companies have vast power over our economy and our democracy. Facebook, Amazon, and Google,” the ads 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.” Over the weekend, Warren told The Verge in an interview that she’s also calling for the breakup of Apple, too.

The ads that were briefly taken down were replaced with text that read, “This ad was taken down because it goes against Facebook’s advertising policies.” The company has policies around using Facebook’s logo and name in advertisements, and a Facebook spokesperson told Politico these rules were why the ads were originally removed.

In a tweet, Warren responded to Facebook saying, “Curious why I think FB has too much power? Let’s start with their ability to shut down 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.”

Last week, Elizabeth Warren announced that, if elected president next year, she would work to break up giant tech companies like Facebook and Google. It’s the most stringent proposal from any lawmaker, capping off a steady increase in calls for antitrust action against Silicon Valley from the Justice Department and other regulators.