Facebook has removed a number of posts and ads run by Donald Trump’s re-election campaign that featured a symbol used by the Nazis for violating its “policy against organized hate”.
The takedown on Thursday came amid increasing pressure on Facebook from civil rights leaders, Democratic politicians, and the company’s own employees to take a stronger stance against the president’s ugly and at times violent and hateful rhetoric on the platform, though it is not the first time that Facebook has removed Trump campaign ads for violating policies.
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 Organization.”
Trump and his campaign have repeatedly made false assertions about “antifa”, a term that refers to loose networks of leftwing activists opposed to fascism and white nationalism. There appears to be no evidence that antifa organizations were involved in incidences of rioting during the recent protests against the alleged police murder of George Floyd.
The inverted red triangle was used by the Nazis to identify political prisoners in concentration camps during the Holocaust.
Bend the Arc, a progressive Jewish activist organization, drew attention to the ads on Twitter on Wednesday, writing: “The President of the United States is campaigning for re-election using a Nazi concentration camp symbol … Trump & the RNC are using it to smear millions of protestors. Their masks are off.”
“Using it to attack political opponents is highly offensive,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said of the symbol on Twitter. “[The president’s] campaign needs to learn its history, as ignorance is no excuse for using Nazi-related symbols.”
The posts appeared both as organic and paid content, and were published by Trump’s Facebook page as well as his running mate Mike Pence’s account.