Speaking out of both sides of their mouth is a politician’s best friend. And there’s no reason a seasoned politician like Elizabeth Warren should be oblivious of the practice.
This Democratic presidential hopeful in the 2020 US elections a few months ago carved out a niche for herself by announcing she wanted Big Tech companies broken up.
At best of times, the proposal was little more than election sloganeering, without clear guidelines and timetables. It was meant to designate tech giants as utilities, rather than merely monopolies.
In theory, it would have made social media giants adopt some standards – like being fair and non-discriminatory toward their users.
Even though it was much to do about nothing, it earned Warren a lot of valuable attention in an election cycle.
But the attention came not least from the giant companies whose parts the politician was supposedly planning to spin off.
At the time, in March, Facebook decided to “temporarily” censor several of Warren’s posting relating to the breaking the company up.
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
But what a difference a few months make as now Warren appears to be fine with what she once described in negative terms as a giant’s ability “to shut down a debate.”
It would appear that it all depends on the kind debate we’re talking about.
Specifically – if Warren doesn’t like the argument – she’s fully on board with shutting down that tiresome old debate, the report suggested.
Take the case of Kamala Harris, running for a Democratic nomination. Harris is a Jamaican-Indian, whom a Twitter user, Ali Alexander, challenged for referring to herself as African-American.
In his tweets, Alexander points out that Harris’ family had been “slave owners” – whereas “African-Americans descended from Africa. Our history is that of slavery here.”
It’s an opinion, worth its space on Twitter – or perhaps not?
Well, not according to Warren, who wasted no time to brand it as “racist and ugly” and then repeated the mantra against big tech: depending on where one stands, whatever they do, they’re not doing enough.
The attacks against @KamalaHarris are racist and ugly. We all have an obligation to speak out and say so. And it’s within the power and obligation of tech companies to stop these vile lies dead in their tracks.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) June 29, 2019
The Allum Bokhari makes a point of Warren choosing to ask Twitter “to stop these vile lies dead in their tracks” instead of doing it herself.
Or maybe it’s just a case of “honor amongst thieves” as Warren and Harris are competing for the same “prize.”