In a first, Facebook takes down Trump campaign ad


Facebook has removed ads from Donald Trump's 2020 re-election campaign over Nazi imagery that the social network says violates its policy banning "organised hate".

The Trump campaign has been running ads attacking Antifa and other groups on the left for much of the month, per Media Matters for America.

A liberal Jewish advocacy group was among those noting that the advertisements' red inverted triangle was a marking once used by the Nazis to designate political prisoners in concentration camps.

In response, the Trump campaign said that the down-pointing red triangle is an emoji and "a symbol widely used by Antifa".

According to Facebook, the ads violated the company's policy against organized hate. The spokesperson said Facebook's rules bar "using a banned hate group's symbol to identify political prisoners without the context that condemns or discusses the symbol".

Facebook in March took down Trump campaign ads that referred to a "census".

The Facebook ads were run on pages belonging to Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, and also appeared in ads and organic posts on the "Team Trump" page.

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Mr Trump and Attorney-General William Barr have repeatedly singled out antifa as a major instigator of recent unrest during nationwide anti-racism protests, with little evidence. The ad is not now active, but screenshots of it running on Facebook are circulating on social media, so it was used at some point, potentially for a short campaign. At issue, was a red, upside-down triangle featured in these ads, which the Anti-Defamation League said Thursday was similar to one used by Nazis for political prisoners.

While not as immediately familiar in its affiliation to the Nazis, the red triangle was one of a litany of different badges which were sewn onto the uniforms of prisoners in concentration camps.

The Anti-Defamation League noted that Trump's triangle "is practically identical" to the Nazi symbol.

Media Matters for America, an online U.S. research group, said the Trump campaign had run at least 2,110 anti-antifa advertisements since June 3. "Ignorance is not an excuse for appropriating hateful symbols", Greenblatt added.

Facebook said Thursday 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.

It was an unusual move by Facebook, which has tried to keep itself out of the debate on the responsibilities of social media platforms when it comes to disinformation and hate speech. Zuckerberg has said it is not Facebook's job to determine what the truth is and that voting is the best way to hold elected leaders accountable. His infamous "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" post - a Civil Rights-era paraphrase, albeit from the wrong side of history, and a bald call to violence on the part of police and private citizens against protesters - was left intact on Facebook even while Twitter hid it. "We don't allow symbols that represent hateful organisations or ideologies unless they're put up with context or condemnation", Gleicher said when questioned by Rep. Eric Swalwell.