Social media giant Facebook on Thursday took a rare step of intervening in the platform's political discourse by removing ads run by President Donald Trump's re-election campaign using symbols from Nazi concentration camps after sustained outcry from advocacy groups.
"Public outcry works," tweeted Jewish advocacy group Bend the Arc: Jewish Action. "But the Trump campaign must be held accountable for its bigotry—and so must Facebook for enabling it."
WOW. Facebook just took down Trump campaign ads targeting protesters with the Nazi red triangle for breaching policies on hate.
Public outcry WORKS. But the Trump campaign must be held accountable for its bigotry — and so must Facebook for enabling it.https://t.co/FBJrgzOh0n
— Bend the Arc: Jewish Action (@jewishaction) June 18, 2020
The president's campaign used an inverted red triangle in an ad to represent antifa, or antifascism, but as critics immediately pointed out, the symbol has an extremely dark and fascist past.
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According to the Washington Post:
A red inverted triangle was first used in the 1930s to identify Communists, and was applied as well to Social Democrats, liberals, Freemasons and other members of opposition parties. The badge forced on Jewish political prisoners, by contrast, featured a yellow triangle overlaid by a red triangle.
"We removed these posts and ads for violating our policy against organized hate," Facebook spokesman Andy Stone told the Post. "Our policy prohibits using a banned hate group's symbol to identify political prisoners without the context that condemns or discusses the symbol."
In a statement, Bend the Arc CEO Stosh Cotler said that "Trump and his cronies have used carefully-targeted antisemitic rhetoric and imagery to go after their opponents, while inciting violence against Jewish and Muslim people, immigrants, Black people, and people of color."
"Make no mistake, the President of the United States is campaigning for reelection using a Nazi concentration camp symbol," Cotler said. "Nazis used the red triangle to mark political prisoners and dissidents, and now Trump and the RNC are using it to smear millions of people protesting racist police violence. Their masks are off."