By: Stefan Becket | CBS News
March 11, 2019
Facebook said Monday it is restoring three ads by a presidential campaign calling for breaking up large tech companies that were earlier removed. A Facebook spokesman said the ads were removed because they included an image of the Facebook logo, which is against the company's policies.
Politico reported Monday the three ads had been taken down, with a message saying the ad had been removed "because it goes against Facebook's advertising policies." The ads included a video touting Elizabeth Warren's recently unveiled proposal to use federal antitrust law to break up tech giants like Facebook, Amazon and Google.
"Three companies have vast power over our economy and our democracy. Facebook, Amazon, and Google," the posts said. "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."
In an interview with CBS News at the South by Southwest festival in Texas last week, Warren said companies like Facebook and Amazon "are eating up little, tiny businesses, startups, and competing unfairly."
Reacting to the ads' removal Monday night, Warren tweeted the episode was evidence of why her proposal is needed.
"Curious why I think [Facebook] has too much power? Let's start with their ability to shut down a debate over whether [Facebook] has too much power," she wrote. "Thanks for restoring my posts. But I want a social media marketplace that isn't dominated by a single censor."
The ads featured a video about the proposal, that included the Facebook logo, and users were prompted to sign up to receive updates from the Warren campaign. Each ad had been seen less than 5,000 times as of Monday evening with less than $100 spent to promote each post, according to data from Facebook's Ad Archive.
Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesman, said the ads were removed "because they violated our policies against use of our corporate logo."
"In the interest of allowing robust debate, we are restoring the ads," Stone said in a statement. Facebook's advertising policies prohibit the use of the company's corporate logo in ads.
Stone said the ads appeared to have been removed automatically, and pointed to dozens of Warren campaign ads about her proposal that didn't use the Facebook logo and were unaffected.