FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about police reform before signing an executive order on the issue in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 16, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis
(Reuters) – Facebook Inc (FB.O) said on Thursday it took down posts and ads run by the re-election campaign of U.S. President Donald Trump for violating its policy against organized hate.
The ads showed a red inverted triangle with text asking Facebook users to sign a petition against antifa, a loosely organized anti-fascist movement.
In a tweet on Thursday, the Anti-Defamation League’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, said of the symbol: “The Nazis used red triangles to identify their political victims in concentration camps. Using it to attack political opponents is highly offensive.”
The Facebook ads were run on pages belonging to Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, and also appeared in ads and organic posts on the “Team Trump” page.
“Our policy prohibits using a banned hate group’s symbol to identify political prisoners without the context that condemns or discusses the symbol,” said a Facebook company spokesperson.
“The inverted red triangle is a symbol used by Antifa, so it was included in an ad about Antifa,” Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, said in an email.
“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. The image is also not included in the Anti-Defamation League’s database of symbols of hate.”
A spokesman for the ADL said its database was not one of historical Nazi symbols but of those “commonly used by modern extremists and white supremacists in the United States.”
He also said that there have been some antifa who have used the red triangle, but that it was not a particularly common symbol used by the group.
Reporting by Ayanti Bera and Elizabeth Culliford; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Dan Grebler