Just as she and her Democrat cohort are descending on San Francisco for the state party convention this weekend, Senator Elizabeth Warren's campaign decided to throw up an anti-tech billboard at Fourth and Townsend.
I can think of a few spots around town that might have been more sympathetic to the "Break Up Big Tech" message than the heart of SoMa next to Caltrain, but that is what the campaign chose. As The Verge reports, the billboard went up on Wednesday.
Warren first floated her proposal, targeting Google, Facebook, and Amazon, in early March, writing, "Today’s big tech companies have too much power... They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else." She pointed to the 1990s federal antitrust case against Microsoft and how it paved the way for more competition and better products. "Aren’t we all glad that now we have the option of using Google instead of being stuck with Bing?" she wrote. Zing!
Warren has had some particularly strong words for Facebook in the two months since, and she applauded co-founder Chris Hughes' op-ed earlier this month calling for Facebook to be broken up into three separate companies — spinning off Instagram and WhatsApp.
As a Warren aide tells The Verge this week, "Elizabeth’s plan would help ensure tech giants do not crowd out potential competitors, smother the next generation of great tech companies, and wield so much power that they can undermine our democracy."
The billboard has a call to action to "join our fight" by texting "TECH" to 24477.
Warren is scheduled to speak on Saturday at the convention at the Moscone Center along with Sens. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Amy Klobuchar, and former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke.