Facebook temporarily removed four advertisements placed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign that were critical of the social network and other tech giants, the company said Monday.
The company said the ads were removed from its platform because they violated a policy on the use of the Facebook logo, not because the ads called for the break-up of Facebook, Amazon, and Google. The ads were ultimately restored to the site.
“We removed the ads because they violated our policies against use of our corporate logo,” Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said in a statement Monday. “In the interest of allowing robust debate, we are restoring the ads.”
Stone said he did not know how long the advertisements were removed. Politico first reported the news.
The advertisements read, “Three companies have vast power over our economy and our democracy. Facebook, Amazon, and Google. 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. It’s time to break up these big companies so they don’t have so much power over everyone else. If you agree, add your name now.”
Stone pointed to a company policy that states “Don’t use the Facebook corporate logo in an ad. The logo is reserved for corporate use.” He also said that another collection of Warren ads that were critical of Facebook was not removed.
On Twitter, Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, said Facebook’s initial decision to remove the ads proved her point about the company.
“Curious why I think FB has too much power?” she wrote. “Let’s start with their ability to shut down a 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. #BreakUpBigTech.”
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. Thanks for restoring my posts. But I want a social media marketplace that isn't dominated by a single censor. #BreakUpBigTech https://t.co/UPS6dozOxn— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) March 11, 2019
The dispute came just days after Warren proposed to break up some of the nation’s biggest technology companies. Her plan would reverse major tech mergers and break up companies that operate a marketplace or platform and participate in it.
“We need to stop this generation of big tech companies from throwing around their political power to shape the rules in their favor and throwing around their economic power to snuff out or buy up every potential competitor,” Warren wrote.