Facebook blocks Trump ads ‘featuring Nazi symbols’ for violating its hate policies
FACEBOOK has taken down campaign ads by President Donald Trump that featured symbols used by the Nazis during World War Two.
The ads posted by Trump’s reelection campaign showed a red inverted triangle, a symbol the Nazis used to identify political prisoners.
Ads posted to Facebook by Trump’s reelection campaign and ‘Team Trump’ accounts this week showed a red inverted triangle[/caption]
They were accompanied by text asking Facebook users to sign a petition against antifa, a loosely organised anti-fascist movement.
Trump has repeatedly singled out antifa as a major instigator of recent unrest during nationwide anti-racism protests, with little evidence.
“Our policy prohibits using a banned hate group’s symbol to identify political prisoners without the context that condemns or discusses the symbol,” a Facebook company spokesperson said Thursday.
The symbol was in Facebook ads run on pages belonging to Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, as well as on ads and posts on the “Team Trump” page.
“Whether aware of the history or meaning, for the Trump campaign to use a symbol – one which is practically identical to that used by the Nazi regime to classify political prisoners in concentration camps – to attack his opponents is offensive and deeply troubling,” the Anti-Defamation League’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, said in a statement.
“The inverted red triangle is a symbol used by Antifa, so it was included in an ad about Antifa,” Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, said in an email.
“We would note that Facebook still has an inverted red triangle emoji in use, which looks exactly the same, so it’s curious that they would target only this ad. The image is also not included in the Anti-Defamation League’s database of symbols of hate.”
A spokesman for the ADL said its database was not one of historical Nazi symbols but of those “commonly used by modern extremists and white supremacists in the United States.”
He also said that there have been some antifa who have used the red triangle, but that it was not a particularly common symbol used by the group.
Mark Bray, a historian at Rutgers University and the author of “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook,” said that the red triangle had been reclaimed by some leftist groups in the UK and Germany after World War Two.
However, he added that he had never come across any use of it by anti-fascists in the United States.
A Reuters tally counted 88 versions of the ad using the symbol from the three Facebook pages.
The symbol was in Facebook ads run on pages belonging to Trump and Vice President Mike Pence[/caption]
Ads from Trump’s page had gained at least 800,000 impressions, according to Facebook’s ad library.
Asked about the ads’ removal at a U.S. House Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday, Facebook’s head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, said the company would be consistent in taking the same actions if the symbol appeared in other places on the platform.
Facebook has previously removed Trump campaign ads, including ones that violated the company’s policy against misinformation on the government’s census.
Antifa is an umbrella term for leftist militants bound more by belief than organizational structure.
Trump has blamed antifa for the violence that erupted during some of the recent protests, but federal law enforcement officials have offered little evidence of this.
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In other news, Facebook boos Mark Zuckerberg recently slammed Twitter for fact-checking Trump.
Zuckerberg said last week he was “deeply shaken and disgusted” by President Trump’s “divisive and incendiary rhetoric”.
Facebook moderators have backed Black Lives Matter and slammed the company for not letting them join a walkout against Zuckerberg.
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