Facebook has pulled advertisements for President Donald Trump because they featured purported Nazi imagery. The ads called on supporters to sign a petition demanding that "dangerous MOBS of far-left groups" such as Antifa be designated as terrorist organizations.
The ads also featured a red upside-down triangle, which was used by the Nazis to identify political prisoners who were being held in concentration camps.
Facebook said that it had removed more than 80 ads that contained the image. The ads ran on Trump's official Facebook page, the "Team Trump" campaign page, and Vice-President Mike Pence's Facebook page.
"We removed these posts and ads for violating our policy against organized hate. Our policy prohibits using a banned hate group's symbol to identify political prisoners without the context that condemns or discusses the symbol," Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesperson, told CNN Business.
The Trump campaign claimed that the symbol was not associated with the Nazis, and was instead "a symbol widely used by Antifa." Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, pointed out that the symbol is not included in the Anti-Defamation League's database of hate symbols and is also an emoji on Facebook.
"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," Murtaugh said.
While the symbol does not appear on the ADL's list, the organization's CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, blasted the Trump campaign for using it in a political ad.
"It is not difficult for one to criticize their political opponent without using Nazi-era imagery," Greenblatt said in a statement. "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."
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