The Facebook account of an artist who turns MAGA hats into hate symbols has been disabled for violating the social media site’s “community guidelines.”
In her “MAGA Hat Collection” Maryland-based artist Kate Kretz refashions the red “Make America Great Again” hats promoted by President Donald Trump and worn by many of his supporters. She has turned them into a swastika armband and a KKK hood ( entitled “Hate Hood”) as a comment on how she views Trump’s message.
“I have been ordering MAGA hats ... and then sewing them back together into traditional symbols of hatred,” Kretz wrote recently on Medium. “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.”
She said when she recently posted a photo of the swastika armband, it was taken down within days by Facebook, and she was informed that her offering violated “community guidelines.”
Kretz appealed the decision and reposted the photo with the caption: “This is not hate speech. This is an art piece addressing hate speech.”
Two days later, on May 9, Facebook froze her account and she has been unable to post anything since (though images of her artwork can still be accessed through the photo link on her page). She has appealed the decision but hasn’t yet heard back from Facebook.
While Facebook was quick to address Kretz’s artwork, it has been slammed for being slow to remove known white nationalist content from its platform.
Kretz said her Facebook presence is essential to keeping in touch with followers and maintaining her livelihood, as it is with many artists.
“I understand doing things for the greater good,” Kretz told WUSA-TV. “However, I think artists are a big part of Facebook’s content providers, and they owe us a fair hearing.”
Facebook could not immediately be reached by HuffPost for comment. A change.org petition has been launched to convince Facebook to unfreeze Kretz’s account. “It is important for artists who we agree or disagree with to be able to show their work,” the petition states.
Kretz’s artwork — including her “MAGA Hat Collection” — can be seen on her website here.