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26 Feb, 2019 12:45

Tommy Robinson banned from Facebook, Instagram over ‘hate speech’

Tommy Robinson banned from Facebook, Instagram over ‘hate speech’

Tommy Robinson, founder of the English-Defence League, has been banned from Facebook and Instagram after the social media company said he repeatedly breached its policies on hate speech.

“Tommy Robinson’s Facebook Page has repeatedly broken these standards, posting material that uses dehumanizing language and calls for violence targeted at Muslims,” Facebook wrote in a blog post explaining the decision.

Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, violated rules against bullying and public incitement to violence, especially against those of certain protected characteristics.

He was issued with a final written warning by Facebook last month, advising him that he would be permanently banned if he continued to violate these policies.

The warning was reportedly spurred by a call to behead those who follow the Koran, another to “make war” on Muslims, and various videos showing people being harassed and bullied.

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Following the warning, Robinson further breached the companies’ policies by organizing an event with Gavin McInnes and his controversial group The Proud Boys, in addition to repeated posts with inflammatory language targeting specific groups in society.

Some of this reportedly included calls for violence against these groups based on ethnicity, race and national origin.

Robinson will join McInnes as well as InfoWars founder Alex Jones on Facebook’s permaban list, each having already been banned from Twitter. The move adds to the Silicon Valley giant’s attempts to clamp down on hate speech.

Facebook, which owns Instagram, defines hate speech as “a direct attack on people based on what we call protected characteristics – race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, caste, sex, gender, gender identity and serious disease or disability. We also provide some protections for immigration status.”

Many welcomed the decision online.

Others defended Robinson, describing the move as “blatant censorship.”

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