Facebook backtracks after removing Warren ads calling for Facebook breakup

Facebook removed several ads placed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign that called for the breakup of Facebook and other tech giants.

But the social network later reversed course after POLITICO reported on the takedown, with the company saying it wanted to allow for “robust debate.”

The ads, which had identical images and text, touted Warren’s recently announced plan to unwind “anti-competitive” tech mergers, including Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram.

“Three companies have vast power over our economy and our democracy. Facebook, Amazon, and Google,” read the ads, which Warren’s campaign had placed Friday. “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.”

A message on the three ads said: “This ad was taken down because it goes against Facebook’s advertising policies.”Morning Tech

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A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the ads had been taken down but said the company is in the process of restoring them.

“We removed the ads because they violated our policies against use of our corporate logo,” the spokesperson said. “In the interest of allowing robust debate, we are restoring the ads.”

Warren swiped at Facebook over the removal, citing it as evidence the company has grown too powerful.

“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,” she tweeted. “Thanks for restoring my posts. But I want a social media marketplace that isn’t dominated by a single censor.”

More than a dozen other Facebook ads from Warren about her tech proposal were not affected.

The Massachusetts Democrat has staked out an aggressive stance toward Silicon Valley’s biggest companies, going further than many of the other Democratic 2020 candidates.

The affected ads, which included a video, directed users to a petition on Warren’s campaign website urging them “to support our plan to break up these big tech companies.”

The ads were limited in size and reach, with each costing under $100, according to disclosure details listed online.

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