Social networking site Facebook has removed United States President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence’s campaign advertisements that displayed a symbol once used by Nazis to designate political prisoners, reported AP.
The company said that the ads violated their policy and that the platform does not allow content with such symbols without context or condemnation. “In a situation where we don’t see either of those, we don’t allow it on the platform and we remove it,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, the company’s head of security policy. “That’s what we saw in this case with this ad, and anywhere that that symbol is used, we would take the same action.”
However, spokesperson for the Trump campaign, Tim Murtaugh, said that the red triangle is a symbol for the far-left group Antifa and highlighted that phone cases and water bottles also carry the insignia. “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,” Murtaugh added, according to The Washington Post.
Murtaugh noted that the symbol was not made part of Jewish non-governmental organisation Anti-Defamation League’s database. To this, ADL Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Greenblatt said that the symbol was not present in their data as it includes only those currently used by extremists and white supremacists. He added that the Trump campaign’s decision to use the symbol against his opponents is “offensive and deeply troubling”.
In March, Facebook had removed ads that contained misleading references to the United States Census after protests from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. However, earlier this month, hundreds of employees staged a virtual protest over Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to not act against Trump’s inflammatory posts on the social media platform.
The protest came after microblogging site Twitter took action against Trump, adding fact-check and warning labels to a tweet on voter suppression. The American president had also called for violent measures against those demonstrating against the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in police custody.