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Facebook took down Warren's ads calling for breakup of tech companies—then changed its mind


Facebook said it wants to allow 'robust debate'

Photo by Gary Miller/FilmMagic

Facebook took down several ads from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) that denounced "anti-competitive" tech mergers and called out Facebook, Google and Amazon by name, but then restored them upon review, Politico reported.

A Facebook statement initially said the ads by the Warren presidential campaign violated the company's policy.

"We removed the ads because they violated policies against use of our corporate logo," a Facebook representative said. "In the interest of allowing robust debate, we are restoring the ads."

What did the ads say?

Warren is campaigning on a plan that includes breaking up large tech companies that she believes have grown too powerful.

"Three companies have vast power over our economy and our democracy," the ads said. "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."

How did Warren respond?

The ads apparently used Facebook's logo without permission. The message that stood in place of the removed ads earlier said "This ad was taken down because it goes against Facebook's advertising policies." Apparently, Facebook did not require the removal of its logo from the ads in order for them to be restored.

Warren called Facebook out on Twitter when the news broke about her ads being removed.

"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," Warren wrote. "Thanks for restoring my posts. But I want a social media marketplace that isn't being dominated by a single censor #BreakUpBigTech."

Warren's plan to regulate the tech industry

Warren wants to target the largest tech companies with some new regulations. Specifically, she would work to pass legislation that would prohibit companies with more than $25 billion in revenue from owning both the tech "platform" and the "participants" on the platform simultaneously. The legislation would result in, for example, Google's "Search" and Amazon's "Marketplace" being forced to spin off.

Warren also wants to reverse already completed tech mergers, like Amazon and Whole Foods or Facebook and Instagram.

"To restore the balance of power in our democracy, to promote competition, and to ensure that the next generation of technology innovation is as vibrant as the last, it's time to break up our biggest tech companies," Warren said.

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