Facebook Removes Trump Campaign Ads, Citing Organized Hate

The ads in question contained symbols associated with Nazi concentration camps.

Facebook on Thursday removed ads from President Trump's re-election campaign, citing the company's policy against organized hate. 

The ads, which were paid for by the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, contained symbols associated with Nazis. They were circulated on the "Team Trump" Facebook page and by Vice President Mike Pence. 

The text of the ads were aimed at mobs of so-called "far-left groups," and were accompanied by symbols used to designate political prisoners at Nazi concentration camps. 

Facebook confirmed the removal of the ads to TheStreet and to the Washington Post, saying that it "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,” said a Facebook spokesperson. 

Facebook's content policies, as outlined in a May blog post, bar groups that "proclaim a hateful or violent mission." The company said it removed 4.7 million pieces of content connected to organized hate in the first quarter of 2020, a sharp increase of over 3 million pieces of content from the previous quarter. 

Facebook  (FB) - Get Report shares were roughly flat on Thursday at $235.59; they are up about 14.5% this year.

Facebook's removal of the ads comes amid a period of intense criticism of the company's policies on violent and other problematic content from Trump. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently refused to remove an incendiary post by Trump that referred to shooting protesters, triggering blowback from both civil rights groups and some of Facebook's own employees. A post containing the same language was flagged by Twitter for glorifying violence

Facebook also does not fact-check political advertising. According to the watchdog Media Matters for America, Trump's campaign has published at least 529 ads containing false claims related to voting. 

Earlier this month, Zuckerberg said that he was reevaluating some of Facebook's content policies following the backlash. 

Writing in a Facebook post, Zuckerberg said that the company will review "policies allowing discussion and threats of state use of force to see if there are any amendments we should adopt." 

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