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Nguyen writes: "Senator Elizabeth Warren's audacious plan to rain down anti-trust justice on Big Tech singled out three companies that she wants to break up: Facebook, Amazon, and Google."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren. (photo: Getty)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren. (photo: Getty)


Elizabeth Warren Isn't Buying Facebook's Explanation for Censoring Her Posts

By Tina Nguyen, Vanity Fair

13 March 19


“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.”

enator Elizabeth Warren’s audacious plan to rain down anti-trust justice on Big Tech singled out three companies that she wants to break up: Facebook, Amazon, and Google. Over the weekend, just for good measure, she also added Apple to that list. Of course, none of the four companies’ stocks were affected, and Warren remains something of a dark horse as a 2020 candidate. Nevertheless, Facebook promptly confirmed exactly why it’s the most disliked tech giant by taking down three ads that Warren had published on Facebook touting her plan to break up the company. In their place, Politico reported, was a message reading, “This ad was taken down because it goes against Facebook's advertising policies.”

Facebook began restoring the ads after Politico published their story, saying in a statement that they had removed them because the ads apparently violated the network’s terms of service by using Facebook’s logo. “In the interest of allowing robust debate, we are restoring the ads,” a spokesperson said.

It’s another black eye for C.E.O. Mark Zuckerberg as he tries to turn a new leaf with a much-publicized “pivot” away from Facebook’s public News Feed and toward private, encrypted conversations. Data shows that consumers are gravitating toward smaller, more intimate messaging platforms and away from mediums that are vulnerable to hackers, trolls, and other online malefactors. Zuckerberg, who is trying to stanch an exodus of younger users, wants to rebuild Facebook’s backend to more closely integrate its subsidiary companies, including Instagram and WhatsApp. Warren wants to force Facebook to spin those two subsidiaries off. So now Zuckerberg is doubly screwed. Not only does he come off looking like he’s censoring Warren, he appears to be validating her concerns about Facebook’s monopoly power.

Warren herself hasn’t publicly accepted Facebook’s apology, or their explanation. “Curious why I think FB has too much power?” she tweeted shortly after the ads were restored. “Let’s start with their ability to shut down a debate over whether FB has too much power.” The next morning, that “debate” continued on Politico, where it was reported that Warren had accepted $90,000 in donations from Facebook, Amazon, and Google employees between 2011 and 2018—including a $2,700 check from Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg.

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