Facebook had to remove Trump campaign ads with a Nazi symbol

Sylvie Claire / June 19, 2020A person holds a copy of the 'Stern' news magazine in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Aug. 25, 2017 showing U.S. President Donald Trump draped in the American flag while giving a stiff-armed Nazi salute. Stern magazine's illustration is part of a cover story headlined 'Sein Kampf' which translates as 'His Struggle' and is a play on Adolf Hitler's infamous 'Mein Kampf'. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)


Regularly accused of laxity towards Donald Trump, who spreads on social networks in electoral messages and polemical frontal attacks, Facebook had the opportunity to intervene Thursday against messages of the American president who wore an almost Nazi symbol unanimously condemned.

The social media giant has removed advertisements from the Donald Trump election campaign.

They who attacked the far left and displayed an inverted red triangle, the symbol used by the Nazis to designate political prisoners in concentration camps.

"We have removed these posts and ads because they violate our rules on organized hatred," a spokesman for the social media giant said Thursday.


The alert was first raised by the Washington Post, which reported the problematic content to Facebook. The platform then unpublished the ads that included the red triangle.

"We don't allow symbols that represent hateful organizations or hateful ideologies unless it is to condemn them," said Nathaniel Gleicher, director of cybersecurity regulations at Facebook, when questioned during a congressional hearing. American Thursday on the Washington Post article.

The red triangle appeared on certain campaign messages sponsored by the United States President, Vice President Mike Pence, and the "Team Trump" campaign page.

The text attacked the "dangerous hordes of extreme left groups" and called on Internet users to sign a petition against the "Antifa" or anti-fascist, whom the Head of State accused, without evidence, of causing damage to the demonstrations against police violence.

The Nazis made the left political prisoners wear this symbol.


"Using this symbol to attack political opponents is very aggressive," commented Jonathan Greenblatt, director of ADL (Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish association), on Twitter. The president’s campaign team “should learn history, ignorance is no excuse,” he continued.

"It is a symbol used by the Antifa," replied an account titled "Trump War Room." A claim refuted by civil society associations, such as Media Matters.

This is not the first time that the global platform has removed ads posted by the president’s team.

In March, Facebook unpublished an advertisement for Donald Trump that looked like an official message in favor of the census, but that redirected users to his campaign site.

The debate over moderation of ads and political statements on platforms has been agitating the United States for months, less than 140 days before the presidential election.

Facebook allows political ads and refuses to submit the statements of candidates and elected officials to its fact-checking program, in the interest of the public to form its own opinion.

But their messages remain subject to the general rules against terrorism, the praise of violence or even false practical information on the polls.

This approach does not prevent dilemmas and controversies.

Twitter meanwhile posted a warning on a video posted by Donald Trump on Thursday. "Manipulated media," reads a video attributed to CNN ("A young terrorized child is running to escape a racist baby").

Unlike Twitter, Facebook refused to intervene on controversial messages from the president in late May, one on postal voting (which he considered electoral fraud) and another on the demonstrations and riots that followed the death of George Floyd, an African American asphyxiated by a white police officer in Minneapolis.

The latter was considered by Twitter, many observers and even Facebook employees to be incitement to violence.

The refusal to give in from boss Mark Zuckerberg has sparked a new outcry against the network.

Defense associations of black Americans and civil society (including ADL) on Wednesday called for a boycott of Facebook by advertisers during the month of July, to obtain better regulation of groups inciting hatred and racism. or violence.

Facebook had promised to reassess its position on political ads. The only concession for the moment, which is also controversial: the network now gives its users the possibility of deactivating them all.


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