The far-right leader and Islamophobe Tommy Robinson has been permanently banned from Facebook and Instagram for repeatedly breaking the sites’ policies on hate speech.
Facebook said Robinson 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 policies that prevent people from using the site to bully others.
Robinson is already banned from Twitter and the decision to cut him off from Instagram and Facebook will leave him reliant on YouTube as the only major online platform to provide him with a presence.
In a blogpost, Facebook said: “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.
“Tommy Robinson’s Facebook page has repeatedly broken these standards, posting material that uses dehumanizing language and calls for violence targeted at Muslims. He has also behaved in ways that violate our policies around organized hate.”
The ban comes a month after Facebook issued a final written warning against Robinson, warning him that if he continued to break the company’s hate speech policies he would be removed from its platform permanently.
That warning had been issued for breaches that included a post 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.
Under the ban, Robinson’s official Facebook page and Instagram profile will be deleted, as well as any future presence on the site preemptively barred.
Facebook added: “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 organizations that are engaged in ‘organized 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.”
In the time between Facebook announcing the deletions and them taking effect 24 minutes later, Robinson posted a new video to his Instagram account, accusing the company of working together with the media to censor him.
He appealed to his supporters follow him to his personal website, saying: “We have to fight this censorship.”