The effectiveness of polite and legitimate protest versus the kind of bullying and intimidation favoured by the likes of Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, was never more effectively demonstrated when his doorstepping of the Zelo Street residence was put alongside his being banned by Twitter, Facebook and PayPal severely restricted by YouTube, and only today banned by Snapchat.
Regular visitors to this blog will recall that, almost two years ago, Lennon rocked up in the dead of night, banged persistently on the front door, shouted through the letterbox, shone his lights through the windows, all on the false pretext that I had “told lies about him” (by referring to him as a racist bigot, which he is). On the subject of lying, he said I used a false name and was a Guardian journalist. That’s not true either.
How effective was this tactic, including his return visit the next evening? It wasn’t: Lennon has had Zelo Street on his case for two years solid, and the SOB will have me on his case for a lot longer. Every time he indulges in an act of doorstepping, he ensures that this blog continues to call him out. He is the premier exponent of Streisand doorstepping.
Compare and contrast, as they say: no doorstepping was needed to have Lennon removed from Twitter, Facebook and PayPal, or to have his YouTube account screwed down. None at all. All that happened was that those opposed to his little Wild West Show, or concerned about the effect his particular brand of rabble-rousing was having on legitimate public debate, politely but firmly urged action from those providers.
Now has come news that Lennon has been banned by Snapchat after no more than a week on the platform, which must rank as some kind of record. After reminding its readers “The far right extremist has already been banned from Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and faced severe restrictions on YouTube”, the Mirror had the full story.
“In a screengrab posted to his website it appears Snapchat emailed the EDL founder last night saying the account had been terminated for violating the social media apps terms of service … The email states ‘due to a violation of our Terms of Service, which you agreed to when you signed up for Snapchat, your account “trcensored1682” has been deleted’”.
There was more. “‘Please note: We cannot recover the deleted account for you. Also, as stated in our Terms, Snapchatters who have had their accounts deleted are prohibited from creating new accounts’ … Lennon told his own website: ‘This is insane, I’m banned from the world … None of these platforms has shown me what terms I breached and/or what posts were in breach’”. SHOW ME WHERE I’M RACIST!
The reality is that not only has Lennon been in breach of the Snapchat T&Cs, there have been complaints about his presence there, as there were complaints about his presence on Twitter, PayPal, Facebook and YouTube. No-one doorstepped him. No-one tipped off their mates to engage in a little intimidation. No-one sent the boys round.
His presence was subjected to firm yet polite protests. These succeeded. His own attempts to silence his critics did not. They never do learn, do they?
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