Facebook’s ad team shoots itself in the foot by pulling Elizabeth Warren campaign ads

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Facebook’s ad team shoots itself in the foot by pulling Elizabeth Warren campaign ads Jonathan Shieber @jshieber / 9 hours

Facebook’s gang that couldn’t shoot straight advertising department has made another blunder, this time by pulling Elizabeth Warren campaign ads touting the Senator’s proposal to break up big tech.

The offending ads were pulled, according to Politico, over their use of the Facebook brand in their copy.

Meanwhile, other ads that the Senator’s Presidential campaign had run which addressed the plan to unwind various acquisitions by Facebook, Amazon, and Alphabet (the parent company of Google) were not removed from Facebook.

Indeed, the removal appears to be short-lived, but has given the Warren campaign ammunition for their argument and numerous headlines, tweets, and retweets.

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

“We removed the ads because they violated our policies against use of our corporate logo,” a Facebook spokesperson told Buzzfeed’s Ryan Mac. “In the interest of allowing robust debate, we are restoring the ads.”

Facebook confirms it took down Elizabeth Warren's ads about Facebook, but is in the process of restoring them.

FB spox: "We removed the ads because they violated our policies against use of our corporate logo. In the interest of allowing robust debate, we are restoring the ads.”

— Ryan Mac (@RMac18) March 11, 2019

That’s a good move for the Facebook public relations team, especially since the ads reportedly didn’t include Facebook’s logo.

But the damage has already been done. It provides fodder to Warren’s argument that big tech has too much power and control over the way information is disseminated — especially on its own platforms.

This incident may be a tempest in a teapot, but it will calcify positions on the left and the right about the self-interest of big technology and these companies’ ability to regulate content on their own platforms to the detriment of free speech — even in advertising.

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