Facebook removes Trump re-election campaign ads for violating 'organized hate' policy

Facebook on Thursday said it removed ads run by President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign featuring an upside down red triangle similar to one used by Nazis to mark political prisoners for violating its policy on organized hate.

The ads called on supporters to sign a petition and "stand with your President and his decision to declare ANTIFA a Terrorist Organization.“

“Dangerous MOBS of far-left groups are running through our streets and causing absolute mayhem,” the ad reads. “They are DESTROYING our cities and rioting - it’s absolute madness.”

Similar to the triangle featured in the ads — an inverted red triangle was once used to designate political prisoners in Nazi concentration camps, according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

On Thursday, Facebook confirmed the platform had removed the ads for the Nazi connection.

“We removed these posts and ads for violating our policy against organized hate,” a company 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 ad appeared in feeds on Facebook before being removed. (Photo credit: Facebook)

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh told the Washington Post that the red triangle “is an antifa symbol,” pointing to examples of iPhone cases and water bottles branded with the symbol.

More common symbols of the anti-fascist movement include three downward arrows and a side-by-side red and black flag, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

The anti-hate organization said the use of the symbol is “offensive and deeply troubling.”

“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,” Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement. “It is not difficult for one to criticize their political opponent without using Nazi-era imagery.”

“We implore the Trump campaign to take greater caution and familiarize themselves with the historical context before doing so. Ignorance is not an excuse for appropriating hateful symbols,“ Greenblatt added.