Facebook Removes Trump Re-Election Ads for Using Nazi Symbols

Facebook has been facing a lot of heat recently for not taking a strong stand against Trump’s rhetoric.

2 min read
Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook has reportedly removed a number of ads for US President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, for featuring an inverted red triangle, a symbol once used to designate political prisoners in concentration camps.

According to a report in The Guardian, the ads were removed for violating Facebook’s “policy against organised hate”. “Our policy prohibits using a banned hate group’s symbol to identify political prisoners without the context that condemns or discusses the symbol,” Facebook said in a statement.

The removal of the problematic ads comes in the midst of rising pressure on Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg to rein in President Trump’s rhetoric. Reacting to the protests in the US following the death of an African-American man, George Floyd, in police custody, President Trump had remarked in posts on Twitter and Facebook: "When the looting starts, the shooting starts."

The now-removed ads featured an image of an inverted red triangle with a black border and the message: “Dangerous MOBS of far-left groups are running through our streets and causing absolute mayhem. They are DESTROYING our cities and rioting – it’s absolute madness … Please add your name IMMEDIATELY to stand with your President and his decision to declare ANTIFA a Terrorist Organisation.”

Facebook’s head of security police Nathaniel Gleicher reportedly confirmed at a House Intelligence Committee hearing Thursday that the ads had been removed, saying Facebook does not permit symbols of hateful ideology unless they're put up with context or condemnation.

Bend The Arc, a progressive Jewish organisation reportedly drew attention to the ads on Twitter on Wednesday,

The posts on Facebook reportedly appeared on the website as “organic and paid content” and were seen on Trump’s Facebook page as well as Mike Pence’s account.

On Twitter, the Trump campaign reportedly claimed that “the inverted triangle was “a symbol widely used by Antifa”.

In a statement, Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said the inverted red triangle was a symbol used by Antifa so it was included in an ad about Antifa. He added that the symbol was not one of those listed in the Anti-Defamation League's database of symbols of hate.

At the House Intelligence Committee hearing, Facebook reportedly claimed that “it is working to help Americans vote by mail, including by notifying users about how to request ballots and whether the date of their state's election has changed. ”

(With inputs from The Guardian)

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