Far-right figures Britain First and Tommy Robinson have been banned from social media platform TikTok, following media pressure.
Writing on Twitter, CNN reporter Hadas Gold shared the following statement from the social media platform:
“Keeping people on TikTok sfe is a top priority and our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines clearly outline what is not acceptable on our platforms.
“Content that seeks to promote hateful ideology has no place on TikTok and the accounts belonging to both Tommy Robinson and Britain First have been permanently removed for multiple violations of our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines.”
Earlier this month, Scram News revealed that the far-right hate figures had joined the social media platform to circumvent bans from other social media platforms like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
With a potential audience of 800 million, Robinson and Britain First leader Paul Golding boasted that they had found a new outlet for their views.
But after pressure from Scram News – including Scram community members reporting the accounts in question, and tweeting and emailing TikTok – last week the company announced the accounts were under a “live investigation” and now the accounts have been permanently banned.
In an email sent to supporters, Britain First said:
“Today is another crushing blow for free speech on social media”.
But far from “free speech”, videos posted by the far-right group showed aggressive, anti-immigrant hate. One, viewed almost 100,000 times, showed Golding telling migrants at Calais to “go home” and in another he pledges to “take our country back” from immigrants.
Meanwhile, Tommy Robinson used his account to post videos falsely claiming Muslims were breaking coronavirus lockdown rules.
Before TikTok intervened, hateful videos posted by these accounts had accumulated over 840,000 views, despite TikTok having a hate speech policy clearly banning these types of videos.
After Scram News broke the story, it was picked up by Al Jazeera and prompted complaints from Labour MP Afzal Khan and Harun Khan, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain.
This community pressure has proved to be successful.
In their statement, TikTok added:
“We’re continuously enhancing our efforts to ensure that individuals and organisations seeking to promote any form of hateful ideology cannot establish a sustainable presence on TikTok.”