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Tommy Robinson permanently removed from Twitter

Tommy Robinson permanently removed from Twitter

Categories: Latest News

Thursday March 29 2018

Mr Tommy Robinson, the ex-leader of the English Defence League (EDL), has been permanently banned from Twitter after breaching the company’s rules governing “hateful conduct”.

Twitter’s policy on hateful conduct states: “You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease. We also do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories”.

Mr Robinson, real name Mr Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, has been criticised for his far-right and Islamophobic views espoused during and since his time as the leader of the EDL – a far-right movement which focuses on promoting anti-Muslim hatred in the UK. Since leaving the EDL, Mr Robinson launched a similar organisation, Pegida UK, which is a self-describe anti-Islam group and has links to other sister organisations across Europe.

Mr Robinson was persuaded to leave the EDL by the Quilliam Foundation in 2013. He later claimed that the organisation had promised him vast amounts of money and in his book, ‘Enemy of the State’, he stated: “In October 2013 you might have seen a lot about Quilliam taking the credit for effectively converting me…Quilliam wanted to be seen to be facilitating my exit from the EDL and taking the credit for it”.

Mr Robinson said that the Twitter ban was because he posted “Islam promotes killing people”.

Mr Robinson was previously suspended earlier this month because he tweeted “90% of grooming gang convictions are Muslims”. In January 2016, Mr Robinson tweeted: “I’d personally send every adult Muslim that has come into the EU over the past 12 months back tomorrow if I could. Fake refugees”.

At the time of the ban, Mr Robinson’s Twitter account was being followed by around 413,000 people.

Mr Robinson’s tweets have been claimed to have played a significant role in the radicalisation of the Finsbury Park attacker, Mr Darren Osborne. During Mr Osbornes trial it was revealed that the defendant regularly read posts from Mr Robinson and had received messages, as part of a mass email, from him.

On the night of the Finsbury Park attack, Mr Robinson tweeted: “The mosque where the attack happened tonight has a long history of creating terrorists & radical jihadists & promoting hate & segregation”. Whilst it is considerably disturbing that Mr Robinson sought to justify a terrorist attack, it should be noted that Mr Robinson misidentified the mosque involved.

The ‘Muslim Welfare House’, the mosque which was attacked, was confused by Mr Robinson as being the ‘Finsbury Park Mosque’. As such, Mr Robinson’s justification of the terrorist incident was worrying and inaccurate.

On a separate occasion he claimed a road traffic accident outside the British Museum was a “jihadi terror attack” and stated the perpetrator was “a black male, possibly a convert, probably will turn out to be a convert”. Mr Robinson’s attempt to blame the British Muslim community for the incident without any evidence was criticised by many organisations and individuals.

The Metropolitan Police later put out a statement to clarify, stating: “The incident is a road traffic investigation and not a terrorist related incident”.

MEND welcomes Twitter’s recent attempt in tackling hate speech on its platform. We are committed to tackling Islamophobia in all forms and are actively lobbying Parliament to introduce adequate legislation to tackle the rising problem of the far-right on social media platforms.


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