On Thursday, Facebook removed from its platform an advertisement paid for by President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, citing a policy against organized hate. As reported by the New York Daily News and other outlets, the campaign ad featured a symbol that resembled imagery used by Nazis during World War II to label prisoners being held in concentration camps.
The controversial and potentially inflammatory advertisement had just launched on Wednesday and quickly ignited an outcry on social media. As depicted by screenshots included with the New York Daily News report, the ad prompted Americans to stand with the president in support of his decision to classify Antifa as a terrorist organization.
“Dangerous MOBS of far-left groups are running through our streets and causing absolute mayhem. They are DESTROYING our cities and rioting — it’s absolute madness,” stated the ad. “It’s important that EVERY American comes together at a time like this to send a united message that we will not stand for their radical actions any longer. We’re calling on YOU to make a public statement and add your name to stand with President Trump against ANTIFA.”
Beneath the text, an upside-down red triangle was shown. The same geometric figure — with the same color — was formerly used by the Schutzstaffel, also known as the SS, in the form of sewn-on patches or badges which identified political prisoners, as well as those who attempted to rescue Jews.
A spokesperson from Facebook confirmed that the advertisement was taken down due to the Nazi connection, stating that they had “removed these posts and ads for violating our policy against organized hate.”
Meanwhile, Trump campaign representative Ken Farnaso told the Daily News via email that the symbol was included with the ad because it was used by Antifa. Farnaso included links in his email to online stores that sold water bottles, shirts, posters, and the like which bore the image and described it as “anti-fascist.”
Trump’s campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh further alluded to the red, upside-down triangle as an Antifa symbol, and also made mention of a Facebook emoji that is similar in appearance. However, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt maintained that the Trump campaign’s use of the image is “deeply troubling,” regardless of whether or not there was an awareness of the Nazi connection.
“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.”
As reported previously by The Inquisitr, Trump first announced his intention to declare Antifa a terrorist outfit in late May in the wake of protests inspired by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police Department officers.