Georgia candidate's post removed for inciting violence

Supporters stand with construction executive Marjorie Taylor Greene, right, as she's on the phone, late Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in Rome, Ga. Greene, criticized for promoting racist videos and adamantly supporting the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory, won the GOP nomination for northwest Georgia's 14th Congressional District. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ATLANTA – Facebook removed a photo illustration showing a Republican congressional candidate in Georgia posing with a rifle next to three Democratic House members, saying Friday that it violated the social media platform's policy against inciting violence.

The illustration, a montage of four photos, was posted Thursday by Marjorie Taylor Greene, a candidate who has previously courted controversy with her support of a baseless conspiracy theory involving President Donald Trump and her inflammatory remarks about two Muslim congresswomen.

Greene is favored to win election in a deeply conservative district northwest of Atlanta. She faces Democrat Kevin Van Ausdal in the general election.

Greene's post featured four separate photos that had been combined to show her posing with a rifle next to Democratic U.S. Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. The three left-wing congresswomen, known as part of "the Squad," are often targeted by Republicans. Omar and Tlaib are two of only three Muslim members of Congress. Ocasio-Cortez is Hispanic.

“Hate America leftists want to take this country down,” Greene wrote, later adding, “We need strong conservative Christians to go on the offense against these socialists who want to rip our country apart.”

Facebook said the post violated its policy against calling for violence. Omar said the post was generating death threats.

“Posting a photo with an assault rifle next to the faces of three women of color is not advertising,” she said in a statement. “It’s incitement.”

Tlaib wrote on Twitter that, “It’s dangerous in a time of rising political violence openly encouraged by this fascist president that a soon-to-be member of Congress thinks a post threatening women’s lives is acceptable.”