Tom Watson, second-in-command at the Labour Party, has called on YouTube to boot right-winger Tommy Robinson, aka Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, from their platform, shortly after the EDL founder and UKIP adviser was permanently banned from Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
In a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Watson asserted — referring to the first bans — that it is "quite clear from the comments threads on stories documenting this decision, Yaxley-Lennon supporters are transferring over their virulent hate to YouTube". He then went on to distinctly formulate his request:
"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", Watson said, adding Robinson’s “virus” could pass on to “countless” other users and urging the media platform not to ignore “their social responsibilities”.
Earlier, on Wednesday, Damian Collins chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, also called for Robinson to be shut down online:
"Far-right groups are exploiting social media to spread their messages of hate, and the YouTube 'next up' feature helps them by directing viewers to even more of this content once, as soon as, they start to engage with it", Collins was quoted by British media as saying.
Responding to the move, Robinson contended in his latest YouTube video that “the corrupt media and establishment” were attempting to “silence any opposition to their globalist plans”.
"I've breached no laws of Facebook, everyone is going to know that I've breached no rules, what I've done is shown people the truth and that is what they are removing, the truth. People will still find me", Robinson said, with numbers of his online subscribers joining in the choir of support.
To trace down YouTubers that illegally promote messages of hate for this or that social group, the platform uses a so-called “strikes” system, giving offending users a warning. It then removes the specific video, while a three-strike mark leads to the channel being terminated altogether if regulations are not properly met.
Robinson’s supporters flooded the comment section below the news links on Twitter, referring to “the rotten thing that Tom Watson is doing here”:
Tom Watson is doing a very rotten thing here, for those of us with eyes to see. He needs our prayers.— Max Lewy, author of 'Madness: A Form Of Love' (@PillPuppetPoet) 3 марта 2019 г.
One even suggested Watson “has some dodgy skeletons in his cupboard” if he’s attacking the activist like this:
Tom Watson has some very dodgy skeletons in his cupboard.— Tony, Yorkshire Hero 🇬🇧 🏴 (@Yorkshire_Hero) 3 марта 2019 г.
However, the idea of “freedom of speech” being mercilessly attacked is apparently the most recurrent one in the comments threads:
So what “race” does he discriminate against?— B2B (@born2bank) 3 марта 2019 г.
No, he can say what he likes. No one has to publish it. That’s freedom of press/media.— Jokerstotheleft (@clowns2right) 3 марта 2019 г.
Freedom of speech— Warren ⚒🏴⛵️⚒ (@warren_tilson) 3 марта 2019 г.
Your stifling of freedom of speech is one of the reasons the one Great Britain Britain falling. You are a globalist touting a one world government by destroying strong countries and people. You are scum.— Belkenridge Farms (@belkage) 3 марта 2019 г.
Some even suggested that Watson is a “coward”, as he is lashing out at “a working class guy and “not the most eloquent chap in the world”, who, incidentally, has no real issues with Islam:
Watson’s a coward. Rather than take on a real intellect who has issues with Islam he picks on a working class guy who is not the most eloquent chap in the world. Why doesn’t he debate someone like Douglas Murray if he believes in the concept of “islamaphobia”.— B2B (@born2bank) 3 марта 2019 г.
Another invited “total liar” Watson to publicly voice at least “one example of his [Robinson’s] hate speech”:
Give one example of his hate speech u total liar. Meanwhile hizbollah and Hamas are free to operate online and yr party objected to a UK ban on hizbollah. But they're Jew haters and Labour loves them. Crawl back in to yr hole u absolute nobody.— Mark (@TruthTeller1909) 3 марта 2019 г.