Tommy Robinson has had his private and public Facebook and Instagram profiles pulled as part of a crackdown on far-right activism.
The former English Defence League leader was found to have repeatedly broken both sites’ policies on hate speech in posts that called for violence targeted at Muslims, Facebook said.
Robinson – real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – broke rules that ban public calls for violence against people based on protected characteristics; rules that ban supporting or appearing with organised hate groups; and rules that prevent people from using the site to bully others.
The Former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson has been banned from social media (Picture: PA)
Tommy Robinson in one of his controversial social media videos (Picture: Facebook)It comes a month after Facebook issued a final written warning against Robinson and said if he continued to break the rules he would be removed from its platform permanently.
According to the Guardian, Robinson had more than a million followers on his main Facebook page until it was deleted just before midday.
Customer told Debenhams worker to ‘go back to your country you f*****g’ Muslim’In its official statement, Facebook said activist Robinson posted ‘in ways that violate our policies around organised hate’.
Its earlier warning came after a post from Robinson calling on people to terrorise and behead those who follow the Qur’an; a post calling on people to ‘make war’ on Muslims; and multiple videos showing people being bullied.
Following that warning, Robinson did break Facebook’s policies again, it says, through: Organising and participating in events with recognised hate figures or groups, public praise or support for these hate figures and groups, public remarks that include hate speech targeted at a specific group in society and public calls for violence against people based on issues such as race, ethnicity or national origin.
In a recent video, Robinson boasted about buying cocaine (Picture: Facebook)
In a recent video, the far-right activist was recorded making a racist slur and bragging about getting drugs ‘everywhere he goes’.
Robinson, who has several criminal convictions including for cocaine possession, is seen in the video claiming: ‘No matter where I’ve gone in the world I score, I’ve gone to f***ing Qatar, to Doha, and scored gear on the sesh while they’re all praying.
‘Everywhere mate, every city I’ve gone to’.
He then appears to make racist comments while asking for a taxi, which he describes as ‘little P*** that drives a car’.
In a statement, Facebook said: ‘We want Facebook to be a place where you can express yourself freely and share openly with friends and family. At the same time, when people come to Facebook we always want them to feel welcome and safe.
‘This is something we take incredibly seriously. So when ideas and opinions cross the line and amount to hate speech that may create an environment of intimidation and exclusion for certain groups in society – in some cases with potentially dangerous offline implications – we take action.
‘Our public Community Standards state this sort of speech is not acceptable on Facebook – and when we become aware of it, we remove it as quickly as we can.
‘Our rules also make clear that individuals and organisations that are engaged in ‘organised hate’ are not allowed on the platform, and that praise or support for these figures and groups is also banned. This is true regardless of the ideology they espouse.
‘Tommy Robinson’s Facebook Page has repeatedly broken these standards, posting material that uses dehumanising language and calls for violence targeted at Muslims.
‘He has also behaved in ways that violate our policies around organised hate. As a result, in accordance with our policies, we have removed Tommy Robinson’s official Facebook Page and Instagram profile.’