Facebook continues to resist all calls for Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, to be removed from the platform, despite the steady stream of evidence showing that he fosters a climate of hostility and hatred towards Muslims. But now, one Zelo Street regular has shown that Facebook has no problem removing comments posted in response to that hostility. Quite a lot of comments, in fact.
That person was so concerned that they decided to report not just one or two comments, but 40 in total. 40 In one day. That’s the level of hate speech precipitated by Lennon’s constant attempts to frame anything involving Muslims as if it were the signal for collective punishment. The kinds of comments that have been reported - a small sample is shown here - also show an irrational and worrying hatred for others.
From “Love the paky [sic] tattoo sent them all back”, to “I will be banned for this truth! The Muslims are not fit to dwell amongst civilised people because of their depraved beliefs and their depraved acts, and as they are brainwashed from birth to follow a false prophet of depraved behaviour they should remain in their depraved countries”, the impression of bigotry and ignorance is inescapable. And there is more.
There is also “Totally agree!! 40 generations of inbreeding has to have soom [sic] effect on the gean [sic] pull [sic]!? Its [sic] not racist to say such a thing. Certain Muslim leaders have admitted that Inbreading [sic] is a problem!! Do the naysayers really think sane people strap explosives to themselves!?”, plus “Moslem [sic] inbreeding = mental retards” and also “Sub human is the only way you can describe these ‘people’ and their stupid religion of hate!” Yet those pushing this hate speech do not, it seems, hate. Allegedly.
The regular has commented “This is a small sample of the comments I found on Tommy Robinson’s Facebook wall 21/12/18. I reported about 40 of them to Facebook for hate speech. So far I got 21 comments taken down under the hate speech option which begs the question; why he TR allowed a platform of Twitter when it’s crystal clear he is inciting hostility against Muslims?” The $64,000 Facebook question.
As you can see, three sample comment removals were also forwarded to me, which shows not only that Facebook is prepared to deal with hate speech, but also that reporting hate speech is effective. Anyone seeing Lennon’s devoted followers indulging in this kind of behaviour should have to qualms in reporting it.
They should also have no qualms in reporting Lennon himself. This is not, as he would no doubt claim, an attack on free speech, but people registering their distaste at his tendency to whipping up hatred and division, fuelled by bigotry and his followers’ ignorance. Stephen Lennon has already been removed from Twitter. Those opposed to the kind of prejudice he fosters may, in time, remove him from Facebook too.
The social media campaigns of Tommy Robinson were for a time, but not for all time.
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