Facebook Hits Elizabeth Warren With A Banhammer For Being Mean To Facebook
Facebook doesn't seem too happy Elizabeth Warren. After the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate announced she would, if elected, try and break up big tech monopolies, her Facebook ads started disappearing across its platform. It's entirely possible that this is all part of some bizarre coincidence, but there's a chance that Mark Zuckerberg, drunk on power and Mountain Dew, hit Warren with a ban hammer for having the balls to call him on his bullshit. Maybe Warren was right?
Facebook has since restored Warren's ad "in the interest of allowing robust debate." A spox says that the ad violated their policies against using their corporate logo -- in this instance a lower-case "f" -- instead of the word "Facebook." None of Warren's other ads were taken down, but none of the other ads were videos arguing that Facebook buys up competitors to create a monopoly.
Shortly after Facebook restored the ads, Warren sent out a mean tweet criticizing Facebook for having the power to shut up anyone who calls Facebook a bunch of spiteful trolls who think they're infallible gods. She was joined by a chorus of legislators who've called to rein in big tech, like freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who said, "Facebook may have its own problems but it's increasingly starting to look like our society (namely, our democracy) has a Facebook problem."
Curious why I think FB has too much power? Let's start with their ability to shut down a debate over whether FB has… https://t.co/r6bcbCiHuL— Elizabeth Warren (@Elizabeth Warren) 1552348755.0
Just because a monopoly business happens to be online, that doesn’t mean it’s good. Facebook may have its own prob… https://t.co/ht7NN2OiFO— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) 1552350098.0
Warren's call to break up and regulate big tech companies has scared the hell out of people throughout the Bay Area. The San Francisco Chronicle quoted a number of Silicon Valley's super rich crying at the thought of Uncle Sam coming to bust them up. As the tech-bros see it, this won't do anything to stop the state-owned monopolies China has on its highly monitored magic kingdom of censored shitposts, and "you can kiss American tech leadership goodbye" if you suddenly start making big tech follow century-old antitrust regulations like every other business. In an interview with The Verge, Warren shrugs off her critics and compared her proposal to break up big tech to the consolidation of railroads in the late 1800s.
There was a period of time when the railroads figured out that they could make money not only by selling tickets on the railroad, but also by buying the steel company and then cutting the price of transporting steel for their own company and raising the price of transporting steel for any competitors. And that's how the giant grows ... So my principle is exactly the same: What was applied to railroad companies more than a hundred years ago, we need to now look at those tech platforms the same way.
With big tech companies reeling from another round of bad press, it was perhaps another remarkable coincidence that a story appeared in Politico this morning talking about Warren accepting campaign contributions from people working at the very companies she wants to bust up. According to Politico, Warren took in $90,000 from employees who work at Amazon, Google, or Facebook between 2011 and 2018. For comparison, Bernie Sanders took in well over a quarter million from the very same people in 2016. Is this a #SCANDAL, or evidence people working for big tech companies find San Francisco so unaffordable that they're forced to live in their cars and poop on the street? On Sunday, when asked about contributions from tech executives, Warren stated, "nobody has been beating down the door," and added, "I'm not in Washington to work for billionaires. I'm in Washington to help level the playing field so that everybody gets a chance to get out there and compete."
[The Verge / Politico / WaPo]
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Dominic is a broke journalist in Chicago. You can find him in a dirty bar talking to weirdos, or in a gutter taking photos.