No room for divisive rhetoric or ‘organised hate’ on social networking sites, Facebook decides.
Far-right leader and founder of the English Defence League, Tommy Robinson, has been permanently banned from Facebook and Instagram for breaching hate speech rules.
Robinson is a divisive figure known for his anti-Muslim rhetoric in particular.
‘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’
In a blogpost Facebook said that it wants its social networks to be places where people can express themselves freely and feel welcome and safe.
Taking action against hate
“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.”
The ban effectively means that Robinson – whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – will not be allowed to set up an official Facebook page or Instagram profile in the future.
“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. 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,” Facebook said.