YouTube places restrictions on anti-Muslim UK activist Tommy Robinson

YouTube on Tuesday placed restrictions on far-right anti-Muslim British activist Tommy Robinson's account, but stopped short of banning him from the platform. 

A YouTube spokesperson said the platform will no longer recommend any of Robinson's videos to users, and his videos will no longer include a comments section or likes. 


"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," the spokesperson said.

Multiple politicians in the United Kingdom, where Robinson is a prominent figure, have asked the tech giant to crack down on Robinson's content. Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, has campaigned on a platform of anti-Islam rhetoric to an audience of about 390,000 YouTube subscribers and hundreds of thousands more on other platforms. 

YouTube's significant restrictions come shortly after Facebook and Instagram blocked Robinson for violating the platforms’ anti-hate speech standards. 

Robinson's YouTube videos will now be prefaced with a warning saying his content may not be appropriate for all audiences. He will no longer be allowed to livestream and his videos will no longer have view counts, likes or comments.

The far-right figure founded the anti-Muslim "English Defense League," which has previously organized violent protests against Muslims in the U.K.

Robinson was banned from Twitter and PayPal last year, and YouTube previously demonetized his videos. 

YouTube in 2017 announced a new set of rules for videos that do not violate its policies but do promote "inflammatory religious or supremacist content" or "conspiracy theories ascribing evil, corrupt, or malicious intent to individuals or groups based on certain attributes." 

YouTube said it consulted with external experts and U.K. academics to determine that strong actions should be taken against Robinson's channel. The company said it is seeking to strike a balance between maintaining freedom of expression and keeping the videos contained.