Maryland-based artist Kate Kretz’s Facebook account has been disabled after she posted photos of refashioned red “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) hats promoted by President Donald Trump and worn by his supporters; one such hat was redesigned by Kretz to carry a swastika armband, while another one was turned into a KKK hood.
“I have been ordering MAGA hats […] and then sewing them back together into traditional symbols of hatred. The works are meant to both call out wearers who claim the hats to be innocuous, and to sound the alarm that history is repeating itself”, Kretz recently wrote on the social journalism website Medium.
Facebook, which is yet to comment on the ban, reportedly disabled Kretz’s account as it was deemed to breach “community guidelines.”
New work: “Hate Hat”, 2019, deconstructed MAGA hats, cotton, thread. Someone had to do it: this object needed to exist in the world #MAGAhat #MAGA #TrumpSupporters @realDonaldTrump @shaunking pic.twitter.com/BWWNnssKWI— Kate Kretz (@kkretz4art) 2 апреля 2019 г.
The artist said that after a photo of the swastika armband was taken down by Facebook within days, she decided to appeal the decision, reposting the image with the caption: “This is not hate speech. This is an art piece addressing hate speech”.
She lodged another appeal on 9 May, when she found her Facebook page finally suspended by the social media giant.
Speaking to WUSA TV, she described artists as “a big part of Facebook’s content providers” which is why she said “they owe us a fair hearing”.
The AP cited the complaint as saying that Facebook is inadvertently using the Daesh* and al-Qaeda* terrorist groups' propaganda to auto-generate videos and pages that could be used by extremists for networking.
This came a few weeks after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed that “in areas like terrorism, for al-Qaeda and ISIS [Daesh]-related content, now 99 percent of the content that we take down in the category our systems flag proactively before anyone sees it”.
* Daesh (ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State), al-Qaeda, terrorist groups banned in Russia and many other countries.