Facebook Removes Trump Ads, Citing ‘Hateful’ Symbols

Facebook has removed dozens of official Donald Trump advertisements, saying they violated the social media platform’s policy against organized hate.“We don’t allow symbols that represent hateful organizations or hateful ideologies unless they’re put up with context or condemnation,” Facebook’s head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, told the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday. “That’s what we saw in this case with this ad, and anywhere that that symbol is used we would take the same actions.”A FILE – White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere waits for the arrival of President Donald Trump at the White House, Oct. 4, 2019, in Washington.”We have nothing to do with that,” White House spokesman Judd Deere told VOA, referring the matter to the Trump political campaign.The Facebook ads, which were seen by more than 1 million users, appeared on the president’s official account, Vice President Mike Pence’s official account and the official Trump campaign account.“Dangerous MOBS of far-left groups are running through our streets and causing absolute mayhem,” FILE – Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 2, 2017.ADL Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Greenblatt told VOA that whether or not the Trump campaign was aware of the history or meaning of the symbol, to use it to attack the president’s opponents “is offensive and deeply troubling. It is not difficult for one to criticize their political opponent without using Nazi-era imagery. We implore the Trump campaign to take greater caution and familiarize themselves with the historical context before doing so. Ignorance is not an excuse for appropriating hateful symbols.”The Trump campaign emphasized that the symbol is in wide use as a social media emoji to denote a navigation aid and as a downward movement for stocks.Other Trump campaign ads with identical language featuring different images, including stop signs and exclamation points, were still visible in the Facebook ad library after the red triangle ads were deactivated.The red inverted triangle, according to historians, first came into use by the Nazis in the 1930s to identify Communists. It was also used to denote Social Democrats, liberals, Freemasons and other members of opposition parties.A red inverted triangle superimposed on a yellow triangle was a badge that Jewish political prisoners were forced to wear by the Nazis.A six-pointed Star of David along $100 bills with a graphic showing Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was tweeted and then deleted by Trump during the 2016 campaign against the former secretary of state. Republican candidate Trump stated that the insignia was not anti-Semitic because the star represented a sheriff’s badge.VOA correspondent Patsy Widakuswara at the White House and Jeff Seldin, national security correspondent, contributed to this report.



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