On Thursday, Facebook removed ads for President Donald Trump’s re-election from its platform, alleging a violation of its policy that prohibits the use of symbols associated with hate organizations.
The ads showed an inverted red triangle and asked supporters to sign a petition against Antifa, a decentralized anti-fascist movement group that has been the target of the president’s ire since anti-racist protests began in the United States.
The ads were run on the Trump page on Facebook, in addition to the vice president page, Mike Pence, and through the “Team Trump” page, created exclusively for the reelection campaign, which also made organic publications with the content.
Campaign tried to justify
On Twitter, the Media Matters for America account had posted about the ads while they were still active on Facebook.
— Media Matters (@mmfa) June 18, 2020
Meanwhile, the Trump War Room account, used to campaign for the president, responded to the publication, justifying the use of the inverted red triangle, on the grounds that it is an emoji, in addition to being a “symbol widely used by Antifa ”. However, Antifa usually uses three down arrows and a red and black flag. They said the image was not in the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) hate symbol database.
In contrast, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt posted on Twitter, stating: “The Nazis used red triangles to identify their political victims in concentration camps. Using it to attack political opponents is highly offensive ”.
Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said the inverted red triangle was used in the ads because they referred to Antifa, and the symbol is associated with the group.
Facebook, on the other hand, removed the ads arguing that “its policy does not allow the use of the symbol of a prohibited hate group, used to identify political prisoners without the context that condemns or discusses the symbol”.