So In Great Britain, Brexit is coming up. Back in 2016, a slight majority of British voters voted for their nation to leave the European Union. So of course, there is a lot of tension in the British Parliament and public. Then you have guys like Tommy Robinson, a far-right You Tube host that capitalizes off such tension. You Tube restricts British extreme right wing commentator.
So not only do they take away his ability to livestream. But they remove some of his videos too. A You Tube spokesperson said they came up with the restrictions only after careful consulting with third parties. However, we don’t know who these third parties are, and we probably never will know. Furthermore, if you do a search engine check on Tommy Robinson, you won’t even find his You Tube channels. Instead, you will find news from other sources. But wait…there’s more. Because now, you won’t even be able to like or comment on Robinson’s video, or subscribe to his channel. Keep in mind there are millions of You Tube channels. Many of them express controversial and radical beliefs. So why are they coming down on Tommy Robinson? I think we need to dig deeper in who this Robinson character is.
First of all, that’s not even his real name. His real name is Stephen Yaxely-Lennon. This isn’t the first time he’s gotten in trouble because of his extreme views. Because back in February 2019, Facebook banned him for the same reason. Then there is his beef with journalist. According to a Tech Crunch article, he threatened and harassed a journalist late at night. It got to the point someone called the police for intervention. Also, according to an article, Yaxely-Lennon has been involved with far-right organizations like the British National Party. He caused much tension and controversy over his hate speech over the years. However, he uses the online alias, ‘Tommy Robinson’ to get funding for his channel, mostly from far right-wing extreme sympathizers. But he manipulated the system good enough that he was able to get advertising. That is…until January 2019, when the ad dollars stopped flowing because of his extreme views.
So this is how You Tube restricts Bristish extreme right wing commentator. Some of my IT service people will say he gets what he deserves. But some will say You Tube didn’t go far enough. Still, others in the IT support community may say they went too far, and they shouldn’t punish him at all. But I look at the timing here. They knew all about his extremist views for years. However, they wait until this Brexit controversy to do something about it? Obviously, I don’t agree with Tommy Robinson’s extreme views. The fact that he even changed his name shows cowardice on his part. What is he hiding from? What is he ashamed of? At least people are talking. Is this the right thing to do or a threat to free speech?