Who Is Tommy Robinson And Why Is He Banned From Facebook?

26 February 2019, 16:16 | Updated: 28 October 2019, 15:53

Tommy Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon
Tommy Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon. Picture: Getty

Tommy Robinson's official page has been removed from both Facebook and Instagram, but who is he and why is he banned from the social media sites?

Who is Tommy Robinson?

Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, is a far-right campaigner who rose to prominence as the co-founder and leader of the English Defence league. In 2015, he became involved in the anti-Islam group Pegida.

After qualifying as an aircraft engineer, Robinson lost his job when he was convicted of assaulting an off-duty police officer, for which he was jailed for 12 months.

In January 2013, Robinson was jailed for 10 months for travelling to the USA on his friend's passport, and a year later he was sentenced to prison for 18 months for committing mortgage fraud for a crime dating back to 2009.

More recently, Robinson was jailed for contempt of court after revealing the names of defendants in a grooming ring court cate but was later released on appeal. The case has since been referred to the attorney general.

Why is Tommy Robinson banned on Facebook?

Social media platform Facebook has permanently banned the official page for Tommy Robinson citing its policies around hate speech.

Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, also took down the official page for Robinson.

In a statement about Robinson, 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.

"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 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."

Robinson had been issued a warning for breaches of Facebook policy by the platform, including a warning about a post calling on people to terrorise and behead those who follow the Qur'an; a post calling on

Is Tommy Robinson banned on YouTube?

At present, Robinson's YouTube account remains active but the video-platform does not allow adverts to appear on his videos meaning he is not able to earn money from them.

"We have suspended ads on Tommy Robinson's YouTube channel as it breaches our advertising policies," a YouTube spokesperson said.

Another source of his revenue was cut off in November last year when payment service PayPal announced that it would no longer allow Robinson to collect donations from supporters.

The company said: "We do not allow PayPal services to be used to promote hate, violence, or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory".