Tag: Tommy Robinson

COVID-19 Drives Conspiracy Theories and Islamophobia

The COVID-19 pandemic has been used as a weapon by the radical right in promoting conspiracy theories. For the past decade, I have been researching the impact of Islamophobia on social media. After the outbreak of COVID-19, I was commissioned, alongside my colleague Roxana Khan Williams, by the chair and independent members of the Anti-Muslim Hatred Working… Continue reading “COVID-19 Drives Conspiracy Theories and Islamophobia”

The effects of censoring the far-right online

Using covert speech to avoid detection and migrating to more extremist platforms underlines that censoring far-right actors from social media is not always an easy or desirable practice. Since 2016, censorship of far-right groups and individuals on social media platforms has been the subject of much public discussion. With the implementation of laws to counter… Continue reading “The effects of censoring the far-right online”

Halal Hysteria: How Outrage About M&S Ready Meals Co-opted Radical Right Rhetoric

The radical right is once again using the fact a food retailer has begun selling halal meat as an excuse to allege “creeping sharia law.” In October, M&S announced that it was to become the first major food retailer in the UK to launch a range of own-brand halal ready meals. Available in 36 stores… Continue reading “Halal Hysteria: How Outrage About M&S Ready Meals Co-opted Radical Right Rhetoric”

Jekyll-and-Hyde: What Creates a Far-Right Supporter? Part 2.

Part 1 of this blog summarised current psychological theories relevant to understanding far-right personalities and behaviour. The following sections summarise the data on three non-violent far-right supporters, and analyse to what extent these theories are born out[1]. Case 1: Male aged 76, UKIP and Britain First Supporter The author has known this individual (Subject 1)… Continue reading “Jekyll-and-Hyde: What Creates a Far-Right Supporter? Part 2.”

Will online takedowns defeat the offline radical right?

This might be effective to counter frontmen like Tommy Robinson, but is it enough to tackle the wider ideology of the radical right? On Friday 13th September, radical right activist Tommy Robinson was released from prison after serving 9 weeks for contempt of court. Robinson was first jailed for this offence last year, when he… Continue reading “Will online takedowns defeat the offline radical right?”

Debate over regulating right-wing extreme speech online must shift to harms such speech can cause

Prioritising free speech above the harms that extreme speech may cause has dominated the moderation strategies of social media platforms.   Note: This piece was originally published at Scroll.in as part of a series on Extreme Speech Online, edited by Sahana Udupa, Elonnai Hickok, and Edward Anderson. The author thanks organisers of a workshop in… Continue reading “Debate over regulating right-wing extreme speech online must shift to harms such speech can cause”

In Defense of Facebook’s “Ban” of the Far Right’s Dirty Dozen

In banning the far right from its platform, Facebook acted like a responsible media provider. In April, Facebook announced its decision to “ban” 12 UK-based individuals and organizations linked to the radical right. Arguing that each sought to “spread hate,” Facebook explained that the decision was made on the basis that all were “individuals and organisations who… Continue reading “In Defense of Facebook’s “Ban” of the Far Right’s Dirty Dozen”

The DFLA: a(nother) new UK far right movement?

Britain’s far-right undertow turns hostile currents against ethnic and religious minorities into a tsunami of hatred. Pause a moment to register two unloved anniversaries. This spring marks a decade since the first anti-Muslim street movement, the English Defence League (EDL), emerged on British streets. Slowly but surely, the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA), now a… Continue reading “The DFLA: a(nother) new UK far right movement?”

The Far Right Has a History of Infiltrating the British Army

The far right recognizes the value, both in training and in terms of access to arms and equipment, that active and former soldiers bring to its organizations. In early October 2018, a photo emerged that showed former leader of the English Defence League, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson) posing with a group of Army Cadets.… Continue reading “The Far Right Has a History of Infiltrating the British Army”