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18 Jun, 2020 20:00

‘Nazi’ or ‘Antifa’? Trump campaign ads removed as Facebook rules RED TRIANGLE violated ‘organized hate’ policy

‘Nazi’ or ‘Antifa’? Trump campaign ads removed as Facebook rules RED TRIANGLE violated ‘organized hate’ policy

Several Donald Trump presidential campaign ads were axed by Facebook for violating its policy with a red triangle, which critics say is a Nazi reference. Conservatives insist it’s meant to symbolize Antifa, crying political bias.

The ads in question were posted to the Facebook pages for the president, Vice President Mike Pence, and Team Trump, and blasted “Antifa” and “far-left mobs” for “destroying” American cities. 

However, it’s not the verbiage of the ads that has raised eyebrows, but rather an inverted red triangle seen right before social media users were asked to sign a petition celebrating Trump’s decision to designate Antifa as a terrorist organization.

Anti-Trump users have pointed to the fact that an inverted red triangle was used by Nazi Germany during World War II to identify political prisoners, including communists, liberals, freemasons and harborers of Jewish people.

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“Nazis Put This Symbol on Political Opponents’ Arms. Now Trump is Using It,” Mother Jones headlined their coverage of the ads being pulled. 

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, blasted the imagery in the ads as “offensive and deeply troubling.”

Facebook confirmed the ads were removed because of the red triangle.

“We removed these posts and ads for violating our policy against organized hate,” a 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.”

‘Nazi’ or ‘Antifa’? Trump campaign ads removed as Facebook rules RED TRIANGLE violated ‘organized hate’ policy

Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh has pushed back against the accusations, saying the inverted triangle was only used because it’s one of the symbols of Antifa. The group most often uses red and black flags, as well as three red arrows pointing down. He added that the red triangle is not “included in the Anti-Defamation League’s database of symbols of hate.”

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“The inverted red triangle is a symbol used by Antifa, so it was included in an ad about Antifa,” he said. “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.”

While admittedly not the most recognizable Antifa symbol, the red triangle can be found in connection to the movement on several websites, and in ‘Antifa: The Antifascist Handbook.’ The author Mark Bray acknowledges that Antifa was directly influenced by European antifascist groups that reclaimed the “red triangle” and utilized it.  

Trump critics, however, have maintained the argument that the symbol was specifically chosen by the president’s team for its Nazi connection, and have pushed back against the accusation of it being connected to Antifa.

Conservatives are, meanwhile, accusing Facebook of political bias, especially in light of founder Mark Zuckerberg’s comments only a month ago saying the company would not be the “arbiter of truth” for the president’s posts. 

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