Facebook claims to have removed the advertisements for the re-election campaign of the President of the United States Donald Trump which featured a symbol used in Nazi Germany.
The company claimed that the offensive announcement contained an inverted red triangle similar to that used by the Nazis to label opponents as communists.
Trump’s electoral team said it was targeting the far-left antifa activist group, which uses the symbol.
Facebook claimed that advertisements violate its policy against organized hatred.
“We do not allow symbols representing hateful organizations or hateful ideologies unless they are tolerated by context or condemnation,” said Social Network Security Policy Officer Nathaniel Gleicher on Thursday.
He added: “This is what we saw in this case with this announcement, and wherever that symbol is used we would have taken the same actions.”
The advertisements, which were posted on the site on pages belonging to President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, were online for about 24 hours and had received hundreds of thousands of views before being withdrawn.
“The inverted red triangle is a symbol used by the antifa, so it was included in an antifa advertisement,” said Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh.
“We will notice that Facebook still has an inverted red triangle emoji in use, which looks exactly the same,” he added.
Trump recently accused the antifa of having started street protests across the United States over the death in police custody of African American George Floyd.
- Who are Boogaloo Bois, Antifa and Proud Boys?
The president said last month that he would designate the anti-fascist group as a “domestic terrorist organization”, although legal experts have questioned his authority for doing so.
Antifa is a far-left protest movement that opposes neo-Nazis, fascism, white supremacists and racism. It is considered a loosely organized group of activists without leaders.
Most members denigrate what they consider Trump’s nationalistic, anti-immigration and anti-Muslim policies.
A move that could infuriate the president
By James Clayton, Technology Reporter, BBC North America
This is the latest salvo in an increasingly dense relationship between the tech giants and the White House.
Last month, Twitter issued a warning on one of the president’s tweets about the Minneapolis uprising – saying it had “glorified violence”.
Trump reacted by talking about the “uncontrolled power” of big technology. He said Section 230 – a law that protects social media companies from being legally responsible for users’ online content – should be revoked.
But forget Twitter for now, Facebook is the platform that really interests Trump. The social network is where most of its online political advertising budget goes. The move is likely to infuriate the president. It also functions as a warning that Facebook makes – and will moderate – some political content.
As the 2020 election approaches, it is likely that it will focus more and more on what it does – and does not – lower.
Earlier this month, Facebook employees denounced the technology giant’s decision not to remove or mark a controversial Trump post about protests over Floyd’s death.
The president posted a comment on the social network saying he would “send the National Guard” and warned that “when looting begins, filming begins.” But Facebook said it didn’t violate its corporate policy.
Trump tweeted the same comments, but Twitter issued a warning on the content, which declared “glorification of violence”.
Some Facebook staff members said they were “ashamed”.