AAP FactCheck examined a Facebook post from December 5, 2017 by Blokes WORLD which shows The Australian Army Badge and relates to the social media platform’s policy on military emblems.
The post reads: “Facebook Doesn’t think Military emblems are appropriate…. So Please share show your support for Our Military.”
The post has attracted more than 1800 shares and more than 25 reactions.
The Blokes WORLD Facebook page was created in December 2012 and has more than 19,900 followers.
The Australian Army Badge, also known as the Rising Sun Badge, has evolved over a series of designs since the start of the 20th century. According to the Australian Army, there have been seven designs to date, starting with a first design in 1902 for Commonwealth forces fighting in the Boer War. Australian soldiers wore a third design during World War I and II. The current design, which is the one shown in the Facebook post, is the seventh. The Rising Sun Badge is worn on the upturned side of a slouch hat and is identified with the spirit of ANZAC, according to the Army’s website.
All Australian Army emblems, including the Rising Sun Badge, are protected by legislation – Section 83 of the Defence Act 1903. The Act states that a “person who is not a member of the Defence Force commits an offence if (a) the person uses or wears a defence emblem or an emblem so nearly resembling a defence emblem as to be capable of being mistaken for such an emblem; and (b) the person does not have the written authority of the Minister, or of a person authorised in writing by the Minister, to do so”.
Regarding the claim “Facebook Doesn’t think Military emblems are appropriate”, a Facebook spokesperson told AAP FactCheck via email the post was “absolutely false”.
“We do allow military emblems, including those from the Australian Army,” the spokesperson said.
“As our policies clearly state, we only remove symbols representing dangerous organisations or individuals, including those representing terrorist, hate, and criminal organisations.”
Evidence to support Facebook’s policy position is found on the Australian Army’s verified page, which uses the badge as its avatar.
In 2015 the Snopes fact checking unit investigated a post which made a similar claim about US military emblems on Facebook. The post displayed the emblems of the United States Marine Corps, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, and Navy. Snopes found that post’s claim to be false.
Based on the evidence, AAP FactCheck found the Facebook post to be false. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to AAP FactCheck the social media platform does allow military emblems, including those from the Australian Army. The Army’s Facebook page uses the emblem as its avatar. In addition, the post in question has been shared on Facebook more than 1,800 times since 2017.
False – The primary claim of the content is factually inaccurate.