Facebook removes President Trump’s re-election messages

FILE - In this May 16, 2012, file photo, the Facebook logo is displayed on an iPad in Philadelphia. Facebook said on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016, it is now using a system that identifies phrases commonly used in "clickbait" headlines, taking another stab at ridding users' news feeds of the links and headlines that ask readers to "guess what happened next" but don't provide any useful information, tempting people to click if they want to find out. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Facebook on Thursday removed ads by President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign that contained a symbol used in Nazi Germany for political prisoners.

The leading social network, which has drawn fire over its hands-off approach to political speech in recent months, said in a statement the campaign messages violated a policy against “organised hate” and were taken down as a result.

“We don’t allow symbols that represent hateful organisations or hateful ideologies unless they are put up with context or condemnation,” Facebook head of security policy Nathaniel Gleicher said at a House of Representatives committee hearing.

“That’s what we saw in this case with this ad, and anywhere that that symbol is used we would take the same actions.”

Facebook’s move against the ads targeted when the contended are dangerous far-left groups comes amid heated debate between social platforms and political leaders on what content may be allowed or banned.

In a tweet from a “Trump War Room,” the campaign contended the upside-down red triangle symbol at issue was “widely used” in reference to left-wing activist group Antifa.

Watchdog group Media Matters replied with a tweet saying that is certainly not the case.

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