The 2020 Democratic presidential candidates talked about Big Tech’s power and whether President Donald Trump should be suspended from Twitter during the fourth Democratic debate Tuesday night.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has been a vocal proponent of breaking up Big Tech over antitrust concerns, spoke out against Amazon for competing with the smaller vendors on its platform.
“Look, you get to be the umpire in the baseball game or you get to have a team, but you don’t get to do both at the same time,” the Massachusetts senator said, according to a Washington Post transcript of the debate. “We need to enforce our antitrust laws, break up these giant companies that are dominating, Big Tech, Big Pharma, Big Oil, all of them.”
“I’m not willing to give up and let a handful of monopolists dominate our economy and our democracy,” Warren said. “It’s time to fight back.”
She also pledged not to take donations of over $200 from executives in the tech industry or big banks.
Big tech giants are able to use their power to limit competition and undermine small businesses. You get to be the umpire or you get to have a team in the game—but you don’t get to do both at the same time. We need to #BreakUpBigTech. #DemDebate pic.twitter.com/c1p7oX0qtf
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 16, 2019
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, however, was not in agreement with the Massachusetts senator, saying that creating small companies would not be enough to address the problems of Big Tech.
“It’s not like any of us wants to use the fourth-best navigation app,” Yang said, according to CNN. “There is a reason why no one is using Bing today. Sorry, Microsoft, it’s true.”
Beto O’Rourke focused on a different company, taking on Facebook for its lack of transparency and calling for “very tough, very clear, transparent rules of the road” for social media companies.
The former Texas representative particularly criticized how Facebook handled an ad posted by President Donald Trump’s campaign with allegations against Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden.
“We would allow no publisher to do what Facebook is doing, to publish that ad,” O’Rourke claimed. “Treat them like the publisher they are. That’s what I will do as president.”
However, he said that he didn’t think it is “the role of a president or a candidate for the presidency to specifically call out which companies will be broken up.”
“That’s something Donald Trump has done in part because he sees enemies in the press and wants to diminish their power,” O’Rourke said, according to the Post’s transcript. “It’s not something that we should do.”
Sen. Kamala Harris continued her criticism of Twitter and again called for the suspension of Trump’s account, Politico reported.
“Twitter should be held accountable and shut down that site,” she said. “It is a matter of safety and corporate accountability.”
Warren refused to join the California senator in this call, saying she instead was focused on beating the president in 2020.
“I don’t just want to push Donald Trump off Twitter,” Warren said. “I want to push him out of the White House. That’s our job.”
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