*Update 2 April 2019*: YouTube has placed sweeping new restrictions on Tommy Robinson's channel, removing his videos from search results and prohibiting him from live-streaming to the platform. The company's decision to place these far-reaching restrictions is a huge step in the right direction. But even still Robinson’s videos, promoting conspiracies and hatred, are doing the rounds online. Until YouTube takes them down, SumOfUs members aren’t going away.
Content warning: this post includes descriptions of racist violence.
Tommy Robinson -- who urged followers to "make war" on Muslims -- only has one major website left to broadcast this hatred: YouTube.
This is dangerous. Robinson’s words have a real, painful impact on our lives. The former head of UK counter-terror policing said that his social media posts had radicalised Darren Osborne, who ploughed a van into Muslim worshippers in Finsbury Park in 2017.
That’s why Twitter, PayPal and last week Facebook and Instagram have all banned him. But YouTube is dragging its feet.
YouTube is already feeling the heat from every angle: UK politicians are even writing to Google's CEO demanding an immediate ban. So let’s get a massive public backing to show YouTube that we expect it to do the right thing, and give Robinson no one to talk to but his own reflection!
With Facebook’s decision, we’ve got an opportunity to push YouTube into action -- and give Robinson no one to talk to but his own reflection.
Even before the Facebook and Instagram bans, SumOfUs members like you had Robinson running for cover. Nearly 65,000 of you came together to get Paypal to close down his account, making it harder for donors to keep fuelling his hate.
And you didn’t stop there. Thousands more of you dug deep to help a 16-year-old Syrian refugee take Robinson and Facebook to court for spreading dangerous lies about him on the platform -- meaning this landmark case can go ahead.
Violence against Muslims is on the rise across Europe, the UK and North America, and corporations like Youtube -- who turn a tidy profit off letting inciters like Robinson into millions of living rooms -- need to acknowledge their part in it.
If we come together and tell Youtube we won’t stand for its hate speech hosting, it won’t just stop more people from being hurt or bullied by Robinson’s rhetoric. It could have a ripple effect that forces Youtube to take a hard look at its policies, and its algorithms which decide what videos to promote, and stop more hate purveyors in their tracks.
But we’ve got to act now, while Robinson’s latest ban is still in the international spotlight.
Youtube: Follow in Facebook and Instagram’s footsteps and ban Tommy Robinson!