Tommy Robinsonm has been permanently banned from Facebook and sister website Instagram. 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.
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.
The ban comes a month after Facebook issued a final written warning against Robinson, warning him that he would be removed from its platform permanently if he continued to break the company's hate speech policies.
Mainstream outlets have struggled to deal with Robinson. When he was interviewed by Sky News last year, Robinson responded b uploading an unedited video of the discussion showing that Sky News did in fact mislead viewers by mixing and matching
questions to answers to make Robinson look bad. The video became an online success and was shared far more widely online than the original interview.
Robinson adopted a similar tactic with the BBC's Panorama, which is investigating the far-right activist. Two weeks ago, Robinson agreed to be interviewed by the programme, only to turn the tables on reporter John Sweeney by revealing he had sent
an associate undercover to film the BBC reporter.
Several other accounts were removed from Facebook on Tuesday, including one belonging to former Breitbart London editor Raheem Kassam.
We received complaints following the third party release of secretly recorded material related to a BBC Panorama investigation.
BBC Panorama is investigating Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon. The BBC strongly rejects any suggestion that our journalism is faked or biased. Any programme we broadcast will adhere to the BBC's strict editorial
guidelines. BBC Panorama's investigation will continue.
John Sweeney made some offensive and inappropriate remarks whilst being secretly recorded, for which he apologises. The BBC has a strict expenses policy and the drinks bill in this video was paid for in full by John.
Offsite Comment: Why Tommy Robinson should not be banned
Nervous BBC chiefs once forced Russell Howard to rewrite a joke -- in case it offended ISIS.
Speaking on his Sky One show The Russell Howard Hour , the stand-up said: A while back I worked for the BBC and I did a piece about the Paris attacks when I said Isis weren't Muslims, they were terrorists -- and the crowd cheered.
And then, at the end of the show, the BBC lost their mind, [saying] "You need to re-record it! You need to say Isis aren't *devout* Muslims."
I was like, "Are you worried we are going to offend Isis?" Are they going to write in?"
When the routine was broadcast on his former BBC show, Russell Howard's Good News , the words devout Muslims were used, in keeping with the executives' wishes.
Update: Even woke comics aren't safe
PC is bad for comedy of all political persuasions.
The National Secular Society has urged the BBC to treat free expression as a positive value as it raised concerns that new guidelines defer excessively to religious sensitivities.
In response to a consultation on the draft guidelines the NSS warned that the corporation risked curtailing free speech by placing an excessive focus on avoiding offence when handling religion.
The NSS said the BBC should defend and uphold the principle of free expression. The society warned that the BBC's current position risked exacerbating a climate of self-censorship and acquiescing to de facto blasphemy codes.
The NSS said in places the guidelines gave religions protections which were otherwise only afforded to people. The society also questioned a section which appeared to place a particular premium on depictions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
Much of the NSS's criticism focused on the excessive deference given to religious sensitivities. In a statement of the BBC's values, the guidance says: In exercising freedom of expression, we must offer appropriate protection to vulnerable groups
and avoid causing unnecessary offence.
The guidance also says the BBC should take care to avoid unjustified offence because religious beliefs are central to many people's lives and arouse strong views and emotions. It says this despite suggesting there is no longer an offence of
blasphemy or blasphemous libel in any part of the UK.
The NSS said these lines risked acquiescing to de facto blasphemy codes and placed an unjustified focus on the feelings of the religious.
The society suggested a replacement section which would say the BBC should take care not to create a de facto blasphemy law. It also pointed out that the BBC's statement on blasphemy is factually incorrect, as Scotland and Northern Ireland both
have blasphemy laws.
Elsewhere the NSS said the guidelines risked creating a double standard concerning treatment of religion, with critics of religion facing additional and unjustified burdens and restrictions.
The BBC's guidance says content dealing with religion which is likely to cause offence to those with religious views and beliefs must be referred to a senior editorial figure.
It also says producers of religious programmes and related content must ensure religious views and beliefs206 are not subject to abusive treatment, adding contributors should not be allowed to denigrate the beliefs of others.
The NSS said robust debate and exchanges of views should not be beyond the bounds of what is reasonable, provided such exchanges are measured and not abusive or insulting.
The NSS welcomed the fact that the guidance no longer contains a specific prohibition on depictions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad but questioned the inclusion of a section dedicated specifically to that subject.
The guidance says the BBC must have strong editorial justification for publishing any depiction of the Prophet Muhammad. It adds that any proposal to do so must be referred to a senior editorial figure, who should normally consult Editorial
Policy. It says many Muslims regard any depiction of Muhammad as highly offensive.
The NSS described this as an improvement on previous guidance which forbade any depiction of Muhammad. But it added that the section suggested a particular taboo which added to a climate of censorship brought on by the unreasonable and
reactionary views of some religious extremists.