June 22, 2020
Even Mark Zuckerberg won’t tolerate Nazi symbols: Facebook on Thursday, June 18, announced that it had removed campaign posts and advertisements from the Trump campaign featuring an upside down red triangle symbol used by the Third Reich to identify political opponents, according to a report by NPR.
The red triangles are anathema to Jewish communities worldwide. Some prisoners in Nazi concentration camps were identified with colored inverted triangles sewn onto their uniforms , others triangles were affixed to the uniforms of sympathizers who had tried to save them, according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
The posts, according to a Facebook spokesperson, violated the social network’s policy against hate. “Our policy prohibits using a banned hate group’s symbol to identify political prisoners without the context that condemns or discusses the symbol,” the spokesperson told NPR.
One of the ads from the Donald J. Trump for President team that prominently displayed the red triangle claimed that “dangerous MOBS of far-left groups are running through our streets and causing absolute mayhem.” The ad went on to say protesters are destroying America’s cities by rioting. “It’s absolute madness,” the ad said.
Bend the Arc, a Jewish action committee, immediately posted a tweet disparaging Trump and his followers: “The President of the United States is campaigning for reelection using a Nazi concentration camp symbol,” the tweet said, adding, “Nazis used the red triangle to mark political prisoners and people who rescued Jews.
Trump & the RNC are using it to smear millions of protestors. Their masks are off.”
The Trump campaign responded by drawing a lighthearted comparison to the red triangle symbol: “This is an emoji.”
Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh said that some products are sold online that use the inverted red triangle in Antifa imagery, although experts told NPR that the red triangle is not a commonly adopted symbol among anti-fascist activists.
The campaign also said that the symbol is not in the Anti-Defamation League Hate Symbols Database.
Greenblatt said removing the posts should not have been a hard call. He said the Trump campaign should apologize.
“Intentionally or otherwise, using symbols that were once used by the Nazis is not a good look for someone running for the White House,” he said. “It isn’t difficult for one to criticize a political opponent without using Nazi-era imagery.”
Earlier Greenblatt had tweeted that “ignorance is no excuse for using Nazi-related symbols.”
However, it is unlikely that President Trump, who is an admirer of Adolf Hitler’s treatise, Mein Kampf, would not have known about the red triangle.
Research contact: @NPR