Screenshot: Axios

Facebook has taken down an ad from the Trump campaign that went after antifa and leftist groups with a prominent display of an inverted red triangle in a black outline, a symbol the Nazis used for political dissenters.

Why it matters: Facebook has given politicians and campaigns wide latitude in what they say on its platform, but this appears to have been a step too far.

  • While rare, it's not unheard of. Facebook in March took down Trump campaign ads that referred to a "census." The census it referred to was not the official U.S. Census, and Facebook had previously said it would take a strong stand on Census-related misinformation.

What they're saying: "We removed these posts and ads for violating our policy against organized hate," Facebook said in a statement. "Our policy prohibits using a banned hate group's symbol to identify political prisoners without the context that condemns or discusses the symbol."

Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh said in a statement;

“The inverted red triangle is a symbol used by Antifa, so it was included in an ad about Antifa. We would note that Facebook still has an inverted red triangle emoji in use, which looks exactly the same, so it’s curious that they would target only this ad. The image is also not included in the Anti-Defamation League’s database of symbols of hate. But it is ironic that it took a Trump ad to force the media to implicitly concede that Antifa is a hate group.”

Between the lines: Others have disputed the Trump campaign's claim, as antifa supporters tend to instead use a different symbol — two flags surrounded by a circle — that dates back to opponents of the Nazis in 1930s Germany.

  • ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement: “It is not difficult for one to criticize their political opponent without using Nazi-era imagery. 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."
  • The Trump campaign has been running ads attacking Antifa and other groups on the left for much of the month, per Media Matters for America.
  • The ads with the red triangle, posted under accounts for Donald Trump, VP Mike Pence and the Trump Campaign, were first posted on Wednesday.

Flashback: Twitter has been more aggressive in labeling content from Trump, fact-checking one post on voting by mail and labeling and limiting the promotion of another that it said glorified violence.

Go deeper

Trump campaign goes all in on Pennsylvania

Trump poster in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The president's campaign is placing more importance on Pennsylvania amid growing concern that his chances of clinching Wisconsin are slipping, Trump campaign sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Pennsylvania, which has 20 electoral votes, twice Wisconsin's number, actually has been trending higher in recent public and internal polling, a welcome development for the campaign.

Commission releases topics for first presidential debate

Moderator Chris Wallace. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace has selected what topics he'll cover while moderating the first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden next week.

What to watch: Topics for the Sept. 29 debate will include Trump and Biden's records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, economic policy, racism and the integrity of the election, the Commission for Presidential Debates announced on Tuesday. Each topic will receive 15 minutes of conversation and will be presented in no particular order.

Fed chair warns economy will feel the weight of expired stimulus

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Fed Chair Jay Powell bump elbows before House hearing on Tuesday. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday that the expiration of Congress' coronavirus stimulus will weigh on the U.S. economy.

Why it matters: Powell warned that the effects of dried-up benefits are a looming risk to the economy, even if the consequences aren't yet visible.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!