DEPUTY Labour leader Tom Watson has called on YouTube to ban Tommy Robinson as “a matter of urgency”.
On Tuesday Facebook permanently banned the far-right founder of the English Defence League across its social network and Instagram for posting “in ways that violate our policies around organised hate”.
PA:Press Association Tommy Robinson has been banned from Facebook and Instagram
PA:Press Association Tom Watson has called on YouTube to ban Tommy Robinson as ‘a matter of urgency’
Now in a letter to Google chief executive Sundar Pichai, Watson claimed YouTube – which the firm owns – should follow Facebook’s lead.
Watson said it was “quite clear from the comments threads on stories documenting this decision, Yaxley-Lennon supporters are transferring over their virulent hate to YouTube”.
He wrote: “I am now writing to implore you as a matter of utmost urgency to follow the lead that has been, belatedly, set by Facebook, and remove forthwith all ‘Tommy Robinson’ and related pages from your YouTube platform.”
I am now writing to implore you as a matter of utmost urgency to follow the lead that has been, belatedly, set by FacebookTom Watson
He said that social media platforms need to be accountable and not “avoid their social responsibilities” and noted his fears that the “virus” of Mr Robinson’s views could groom “countless” more followers via the platform.
Robinson is already banned on Twitter, leaving YouTube as the last big site he can post on.
He has more than 300,000 subscribers to his channel.
YouTube operates a hate speech policy which removes content promoting violence or hatred against individuals or groups based on attributes including religion, race, immigration status or nationality.
Facebook said the content Mr Robinson posted called for violence targeted at Muslims.
It is understood that the videos posted on his YouTube channel are different and do not currently breach the platform’s own hate speech rules.BANNED FROM FACEBOOK
YouTube also uses a ‘strikes’ system, giving offending users a warning and removing the specific video, before going into a three-strike process that eventually leads to the channel being removed if policies are repeatedly violated.
Facebook confirmed Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, had violated their standards on supporting or appearing to support organised hate groups on his page where he had amassed more than one million followers.
Robinson’s supporters have rallied behind him on social media, saying his ban on Facebook and Instagram goes against the right to free speech.
Reacting to the move on Tuesday, Robinson claimed the “corrupt media and the establishment” were trying “to silence any opposition to their globalist plans”.
‘I’VE BREACHED NO RULES’
He said: “I’ve breached no laws of Facebook, everyone is going to know that I’ve breached no rules, what I’ve done is shown people the truth and that is what they are removing, the truth. People will still find me.”
The social media giant said Robinson’s page had “repeatedly broken these standards, posting material that uses dehumanising language and calls for violence targeted at Muslims”.
Robinson had been issued with a final warning last month, cautioning him that he faced being banned from the social media site if he continued to break their policies.
He was banned from Twitter in March 2018 and removed from PayPal in November.
His last remaining official profile on a mainstream social network is YouTube where he has nearly 300,000 subscribers.
The ban means that Robinson will be preemptively barred from setting up any other profiles.
‘THIS IS NOT A DECISION WE TAKE LIGHTLY’
In a statement, Facebook said: “One of the biggest questions we face is around what we allow on Facebook – and we spend a lot of time trying to get this right. This is hard and critically important. 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 MuslimsFacebook
“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.
“This is not a decision we take lightly, but individuals and organisations that attack others on the basis of who they are have no place on Facebook or Instagram.”Robinson told the Press Association that the ban was in response to his documentary Panadrama – a film he made himself about the BBC after it was revealed he was being investigated by the long-running current affairs programme Panorama.
He said: “I’ve breached no laws of Facebook, everyone is going to know that I’ve breached no rules, what I’ve done is shown people the truth and that is what they are removing, the truth. People will still find me.’THIS IS AN ATTACK’
“People will be astonished by this censorship, especially witnessing it in response to my expose documentary.”
He added: “Now, the establishment, which has gone for the plan of completely removing me from the public sphere – people will fight against this censorship, people will not like this censorship.
“You’re not just censoring me, you’re censoring the public’s option of listening to what I have to say. This is a complete attack on free speech which is going on across the world.”
Ukip leader Gerard Batten, who hired Mr Robinson as an adviser in November 2018, said his page had been closed for “BS reasons” and urged his Twitter followers to join Ukip.
“Simultaneously articles appear in the Guardian & Independent. The left’s establishment are closing ranks & counter attacking,” he added.
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Robinson was jailed for 13 months for contempt of court on May 25, 2018 – but the world only learnt about it several days later.
He was first arrested on suspicion of breaching the peace by streaming a video outside Leeds Crown Court.
Robinson admitted committing contempt of court by publishing information that could prejudice an ongoing trial.
The outspoken EDL founder has amassed a huge following on social media
Robinson founded the English Defence League
Tommy Robinson boasts about scoring drugs and uses racist slur in foul mouthed rant
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