Of all the things Facebook could have done in response to Democrat politician Elizabeth Warren’s suggestion that it should be broken up for abuse of its power, temporarily blocking the Facebook ads that she’d booked to promote her plan was probably the most foolish. The social network claimed it was because “they violated our policies against use of our corporate logo”, but quickly u-turned and reinstated the ads “in the interest of allowing robust debate”. Well, indeed.
A new perspective was offered on the plans yesterday by Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom, who recently left Facebook, but isn’t sold on Warren’s plans. “There are a long list of reasons people are angry at tech right now and some of them I think are well-founded. That doesn’t mean that the answer is to break all the companies up,” he said, in an appearance at SXSW. “That doesn’t mean that companies shouldn’t be broken up if they get too big and they’re monopolies and they cause problems, but being big in and of itself is not a crime… I think it’s going to take a more nuanced proposal, but my fear is that something like a proposal to break up all tech is playing on everyone’s current feeling of anti-tech rather than doing what I think politicians should do which is address real problems and give real solutions.”