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YouTube removes ads from far-right activist’s videos



Far-right activist Tommy Robinson has been banned from earning money from advertising on his YouTube channel after the video platform said his content breached its guidelines.

“We have suspended ads on Tommy Robinson’s YouTube channel as it breaches our advertising policies,” a YouTube spokesperson said.

The Google-owned platform said it had imposed the restrictions for content around controversial issues and sensitive events.

Mr Robinson, the former leader of the English Defence League (EDL) who has 270,000 YouTube subscribers, called it “continued censorship.”

The most recent video on the site shows footage of what Mr Robinson claims is him punching a migrant on a street in Italy.

The anti-Islamist and EDL founder, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, said “there’s nothing hateful” in the video, which recaps 2018 and is one of those now subject to the restrictions.

Last year, he was banned from Twitter and payment platform PayPal after breaching their rules on hate speech.

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On Wednesday, YouTube removed adverts for far-right group Britain First from the platform for breaching rules which prohibit content which promotes “hatred, intolerance or discrimination”.

YouTube said it believed strongly in freedom of expression but must protect its entire community of creators, viewers and advertisers from what it called derogatory and disparaging content.

Advocacy group Hope Not Hate welcomed the move, but said social media sites were still “too slow” to respond to incidents involving alleged hate speech.

In a statement, it said: “YouTube made the right choice, but all too often they, and others, are far too slow in reacting when these ‘PayPal patriots’ take to the airwaves to spread their poison and bile.”

Content creators on YouTube can collect money from YouTube by allowing advertising to be shown on their videos.

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