San Francisco: Facebook Inc. has removed a series of ads and posts shared by U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign for violating the company’s policy against “organized hate.” The ads, which referred to “Dangerous MOBS of far-left groups,” included an image of an upside-down red triangle.
“Nazis used red triangles to identify their political victims in concentration camps,” according to a tweet from Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive officer of the Anti-Defamation League. “@POTUS’ campaign needs to learn its history, as ignorance is no excuse for using Nazi-related symbols,” he added.
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed that a handful of ads and posts had been removed. “We removed these posts and ads for violating our policy against organized hate,” the spokesperson said. “Our policy prohibits using a banned hate group’s symbol to identify political prisoners without the context that condemns or discusses the symbol.”
The Trump campaign said it used the red triangle to signal an association with Antifa, a loosely organized anti-fascist group. The campaign’s claims that Antifa was involved in recent protests against racism and police brutality were largely disproven, as were the claims about the group’s association with the symbol.
“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,” said Tim Murtaugh, director of communications for the campaign. “The image is also not included in the Anti-Defamation League’s database of symbols of hate.”
Facebook and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg have been criticized for letting political candidates lie in their ads on the social network, but have moved against ads that violate other policies. In March, Facebook removed a series of ads from the Trump campaign for encouraging people to take the census, but including a link to a re-election campaign survey instead. Facebook said the ads were removed to “prevent confusion.”
Still, the company has come under intense pressure from human-rights groups including the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League for allowing violent and hateful rhetoric to thrive on its site. The groups are calling for advertisers to pull their money from Facebook in July.
“We have been continually disappointed and stunned by Mark Zuckerberg’s commitment to protecting white supremacy, voter suppression and outright lies on Facebook,” Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change, another group supporting the boycott, said in a statement. “As corporations take a stand against racism in our society, they should consider how their advertising dollars support Facebook making Black people less safe online.”- Bloomberg
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