Instagram says removed right-wing activist Tommy Robinson's account by mistake
© Instagram: Tommy Robinson

Instagram said it had temporarily deleted the account of right-wing anti-Muslim activist Tommy Robinson by mistake, though it was later reactivated.

The company was responding to a request for comment from The Hill after right-wing anti-Muslim activist Tommy Robinson said that his Instagram account had been deleted, and predicted that he will next be purged from Facebook's platform for his anti-Muslim views.

“The account @realtommyrobinson was removed in error and has since been reactivated," an Instagram spokeswoman told The Hill in an email. 

"The account was reported to us for bullying and was mistakenly removed," she added in a subsequent email.

"Our dedicated Community Operations team reviews millions of reports a week. Occasionally, we make a mistake and incorrectly remove content or accounts. We work quickly to rectify that when we are made aware." 

An Instagram search Tuesday afternoon showed that the account was up, and had been posting as recently as Monday.


Robinson, whose real name is is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, is one of the founders of the anti-Muslim English Defense League, which has organized violent protests against Muslims in Britain for years.

Robinson told Facebook followers Tuesday that he believed Facebook, which also owns Instagram, would purge his content from their platform next.

“They have now deleted my Instagram account. Facebook will soon close us down,” he said, according to The Guardian. Robinson also posted a screenshot of his Instagram account, which appeared as a blank page with the error message "User not found."

Robinson's comments come days after American far-right conspiracy theorist and web host Alex Jones was banned from a number of social media and content-hosting platforms, including Facebook, Spotify and YouTube.
The Infowars host has been heavily criticized for his rhetoric about LGBT Americans and his accusation that victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting were "crisis actors."
Robinson was released from a British prison last week after being jailed for contempt of court. The Trump administration had reportedly pressured the United Kingdom over Robinson's treatment last month during a meeting between U.S. Ambassador Sam Brownback and British Ambassador Sir Kim Darroch, Reuters reported.

Brownback reportedly warned Darroch during the meeting that the Trump administration would criticize the case publicly if Robinson was not protected from other prisoners and treated fairly.

A State Department spokesperson told Reuters, however, that the "characterization" of the meeting reported by the news service was "completely false."