Facebook Removes- and Quickly Restores Sen. Elizabeth Warren's Ad For Violating Its Policies

Facebook Removes- and Quickly Restores Sen. Elizabeth Warren's Ad For Violating Its Policies514
source: Ina Grace

Sen. Elizabeth Warren made it to the headlines last week when she called for the breakup of Facebook, Amazon, and Google, quoting their ''anti-competitive'' merger practices as the main reason.

It did not take Facebook long to respond. The social media platform confirmed that it had removed some of the Sen. Warren's presidential campaign ads criticizing the tech giants, including Facebook. 

The ad in question was an extension of Warren's call to break up the three most prominent tech companies, saying they were monopolists abusing their dominant market position and using private information for profit.

The message on the three ads said that they had to be taken down because they failed to comply with Facebook's advertising policies.

After Politico revealed the removal first, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed in a statement that the ads had been removed and the firm was now in the process of restoring them in the name of the ''robust debate''. 

The company's spokesperson justified the ad removal with violation of the policies against the use of the Facebook corporate logo. As it turned out, the controversial ad featured Facebook's ''f'' trademark surrounded by a comic-book dialog bubble. In addition to that, it also contained icons representing Google and Amazon.

Eventually, Facebook restored the ads. However, it did not explicitly mention whether it was the internal artificial intelligence software or a human content moderators who removed the ad. It is also worth mentioning that the rest of the Warren's ads on Facebook calling for the breakup with the tech giants had not been deleted, but they did not contain a modified Facebook logo.

Sen. Warren responded immediately on Twitter, referring once again to the huge market power of Facebook. She blamed the social media platform for shutting down debate over whether the company was holding too much market power. 

The Massachusetts senator thanked Facebook for restoring her ads but emphasized she would prefer a social media marketplace that was not dominated by a single player.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also raised a voice on the topic slamming Facebook as monopolistic.

The short-lived incident comes at a sensitive time for world politics. Political ads proved to be a sore spot for Facebook since the 2016 presidential elections when Russian trolls reportedly bought ads targeting U.S. citizens. Back then, the American viewers could see the ads without being adequately informed who was financing them.

What do you think? Do you believe that if Politico or any other news outlet had not noticed the removed ad, it would have been restored so quickly?