YouTube places 'warnings' on Tommy Robinson's videos

Tommy Robinson faces new restrictions on YouTube videos

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

YouTube has clamped down on Tommy Robinson by putting a number of restrictions on his account, but stopped short of banning the activist completely.

The Google-owned platform has faced calls to follow Facebook and Instagram in permanently banning Mr Robinson.

YouTube said that the 36-year-old activists videos are not illegal, so rather than implement a blanket ban, will instead place a number of restrictions on his channel in response to users regularly flagging his content as potentially being in breach of its hate speech rules.

Tommy Robinson's videos now begin with a content warning.

The restrictions mean that all of the activist's videos now come with a content warning before anyone is able to watch them and are removed from recommendations.

Users will also be unable to comment, suggest or like the videos.

Mr Robinson, who has more than 387,000 followers on his YouTube channel, will also be blocked from live streaming.

Any videos of this kind are blocked from using monetisation tools to earn money, though adverts on Mr Robinson's YouTube channel had already been suspended since January for breaching the site's advertising guidelines.

"After consulting with third-party experts, we are applying a tougher treatment to Tommy Robinson's channel in keeping with our policies on borderline content," a YouTube spokeswoman said.

"The content will be placed behind an interstitial, removed from recommendations, and stripped of key features including live streaming, comments, suggested videos and likes."

Mr Robinson has already been banned by Twitter, Facebook and PayPal.

Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson and Damian Collins, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, are among those  calling for the activist to be shut down online.

Mr Watson sent a letter to Google's chief executive Sundar Pichai, saying: "I am now writing to implore you as a matter of utmost urgency to follow the lead that has been, belatedly, set by Facebook, and remove forthwith all 'Tommy Robinson' and related pages from your YouTube platform."

Mr Robinson has previously said that efforts to ban him online were part of the "corrupt media and the establishment" trying "to silence any opposition to their globalist plans".

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