British far-right figure Tommy Robinson has been banned from Facebook and Instagram for repeatedly posting dehumanizing language and "calls for violence targeted at Muslims", according to a company statement.
Facebook made the move against Robinson on Tuesday, closing the former English Defence League founder's public Facebook page, which boasted more than 1 million followers.
A blog post from the company said Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley Lennon, had his public Facebook and Instagram pages closed for his activity around targeting Muslims.
"Our rules also make clear that individuals and organizations that are engaged in 'organized hate' are not allowed on the platform, and that praise or support for these figures and groups is also banned," the Facebook statement read. "This is true regardless of the ideology they espouse."
"Tommy Robinson’s Facebook Page has repeatedly broken these standards, posting material that uses dehumanizing language and calls for violence targeted at Muslims.
"He has also behaved in ways that violate our policies around organized 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 organizations that attack others on the basis of who they are have no place on Facebook or Instagram."
As first reported by the Guardian, Robinson's Facebook ban follows moves against him from the other US tech giants. Twitter removed Robinson from the social media platform last year, while YouTube demonetized his video channel in January.
Robinson had reportedly been given his last warning by Facebook earlier this year. He went on to organize events with far-right figures and publicly call for violence, according to the Guardian report.
Anti-far-right campaign group Hope Not Hate praised Facebook for making the decision saying it would affect Robinson's ability to fundraise from his followers on the internet.
“Stephen Lennon is a far-right thug who uses his platform to bully, abuse and stir up division, monetising his hatred to earn huge sums while hiding behind a fake free speech mantle," said Hope Not Hate chief executive Nick Lowles.
"Lennon has a long record of abuse towards minorities such as Muslims, so we welcome today's decision as well as Facebook’s continued actions in cleaning up their platform.”
Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Mark Di Stefano at email@example.com.
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