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Facebook takes down Trump ads for ‘violating organized hate policy’

President Donald J. Trump listens to a reporter’s question at an update briefing on testing capacity Monday, May 11, 2020, in the Rose Garden of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
June 18, 2020

Facebook removed ads from President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign on Thursday, citing a violation of the platform’s policy against hate groups.

The Trump campaign’s advertisements slammed ANTIFA and called on supporters to stand with Trump in declaring the movement a terrorist organization. However, the advertisements used an inverted red triangle icon that critics point out were used by Nazi Germany in classifying concentration camp prisoners, though the Trump campaign says it’s a symbol associated with ANTIFA.

“We removed these posts and ads for violating our policy against organized hate. Our policy prohibits using a banned hate group’s symbol to identify political prisoners without the context that condemns or discusses the symbol,” Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesperson, told CNN Business.

Left-leaning media watchdog Media Matters posted a statement about the Trump ads, saying, “Facebook let the Trump campaign run 88 ads with inverted red triangle — an infamous Nazi symbol.”

The Trump campaign replied, calling the icon an emoji and calling it a symbol affiliated with ANTIFA. “It’s also a symbol widely used by Antifa. It was used in an ad about Antifa. It is not in the ADL’s Hate Symbols Database,” the campaign said.

The advertisement condemns ANTIFA as “dangerous MOBS of far-left groups are running through our streets and causing absolute mayhem.” The ads ran on official Facebook pages for Trump and his “Team Trump” reelection page, as well as on the page of Vice President Mike Pence.

Trump campaign spokesman Ken Farnaso told NY Daily News, “The red triangle is an Antifa symbol,” and included links to online stores selling merchandise with the symbols, such as this wall print.

Nazi concentration camps used inverted colored triangles to classify prisoners, and affixed them onto uniforms as a visible indicator of why they were imprisoned.

Shows triangle marking system for prisoners in German concentration camps distinguished by form and colour of the marks. The table is divided into rows for basic prisoner colours (Grundfarben für Häftlinge), badges for reoffenders (Abzeichen für Rückfällige), prisoners in the punishment platoon (Häftlinge der Strafkompanie), badges for Jews (Abzeichen für Juden), and special marks (Besondere Abzeichen), as well as columns for various types of accusations: political prisoners (politisch), serial criminals (Berufsverbrecher, [lit.: professional criminal]), emigrant(s), Jehovah’s Witnesses (Bibelforscher [lit.: Bible researchers]), homosexuals (homosexuell), and antisocial persons (asozial). The special marks include “Jewish racial offenders” (jüd[ische] Rasseschänder), female racial offenders (Rasseschänderin), persons suspected of escaping (fluchtverdächtigt), the prisoner’s inmate ID number (Häftlingsnummer), badges for Polish and Czech individuals (Pole, Tscheche), Wehrmacht (German army) personnel (Wehrmacht Angehöriger) and celebrities (Häftling Ia). An example sleeve of a prisoner’s dress is shown in the lower right section (Beispiel). (U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum/Released)