Conservatives have long known that Facebook is like a vicious dog that can turn on you in a second if you get on its bad side. Elizabeth Warren and her presidential campaign have found that out the hard way.
According to Politico, the tech giant took down an ad from the Massachusetts senator and 2020 presidential contender that called for the breakup of social media conglomerates.
“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,” Politico reported.
“’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.’”
And apparently, Warren’s campaign got this message in response:
“This ad was taken down because it goes against Facebook’s advertising policies.”
Of course, Facebook said the whole thing was a mistake, honest!
“We removed the ads because they violated our policies against use of our corporate logo,” a Facebook spokesperson said, according to Politico.
“In the interest of allowing robust debate, we are restoring the ads.”
Warren was decidedly unconvinced by this explanation.
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
“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 on Monday.
“Thanks for restoring my posts. But I want a social media marketplace that isn’t dominated by a single censor. #BreakUpBigTech”
That Facebook doesn’t love “robust debate” isn’t a terrible surprise to conservatives, who have long been the target of the social media giant’s ire.
Take, for instance, a story by Rod Dreher at The American Conservative called “Jussie Smollet’s Hate Hoax.” When one Facebook user tried to share it, the user was told the story didn’t meet community standards and had the post taken down.
“Facebook will apparently not allow its users to say that police believe Smollett, a black gay actor, may have paid his two ‘assailants’ to attack him last month, and blamed it on white Trump supporters — this, even though that is being reported by multiple national media outlets,” Dreher wrote.
Smollett, in case you’ve been living under a rock, was later charged with exactly what Dreher was writing about.
And then there was Franklin Graham; the nationally known evangelist was banned for 24 hours back in December over a two-year-old post on North Carolina’s transgender bathroom bill.
“They’re making & changing the rules,” Graham said at the time. “Truth is truth. God made the rules & His Word is truth. The free exchange of ideas is part of our country’s DNA.”
And, as The Western Journal has demonstrated, Facebook’s 2018 algorithm changes have hit conservative publishers considerably harder than liberal publishers.
So, welcome to the club, Sen. Warren. The fact that Facebook is willing to pursue its self-interests in the most obvious of ways is nothing new, although usually liberals are exempt. After all, most of the time Facebook’s self-interest is decidedly in the liberal camp.
But when it requires throwing a liberal under the bus, well, so be it.
Warren’s usually wrong on most things, but the blind squirrel finds an acorn every now and then. The fact is that Facebook is way too powerful in the political arena, something that Warren’s supporters are just finding out.
Even if Facebook’s original reasoning behind banning the ads is accurate, that still doesn’t make it OK. It just means that Facebook’s algorithms pull totally innocuous advertisements for capricious reasons.
If this weren’t Elizabeth Warren, one of the top contenders for the Democrat nomination in 2020, how quickly do you think this would have been restored? How much of a fuss would have been made?
Like it or not, Warren is one of the most powerful people in America and she still had to fight for free speech on Facebook.
That should tell you a great deal about how powerful the social media giant is — as well as how responsible it is in using that power.
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