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Instagram says Tommy Robinson’s account was removed ‘in error’

The right-wing activist had claimed he was being shut down on Instagram and Facebook.

Instagram removed Tommy Robinson’s account from its platform “in error”, the social media giant has said.

The former English Defence League (EDL) leader had taken to Facebook to reveal his account had been “deleted” and to claim that “Facebook will soon close us down” on that platform as well.

However, Instagram has now confirmed it had made a mistake in removing the far-right activist’s profile.

“The account @realtommyrobinson was removed in error and has since been reactivated,” the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app said in a statement.

Instagram said Robinson’s account had been reported to them for violating its community guidelines for bullying, but removing it was a mistake made during the review process.

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(Joe Giddens/PA)

The company said it was always working to get better at evaluating content and enforcing its guidelines.

The incident comes a day after tech firms, including Facebook, Apple, Spotify and YouTube, removed pages and accounts linked to right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his Infowars platform, citing breaches of site rules on hate speech.

Earlier this year, Facebook also removed the official page of far-right group Britain First, as well as those of leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen in what the social network said was a response to repeated violations of its rules.

Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, was released from prison on conditional bail last week after judges quashed a contempt of court finding against him.

Three leading judges in London quashed the finding against Robinson made at Leeds Crown Court in May. They granted him conditional bail from a 13-month jail sentence, pending new proceedings at the Old Bailey.

Robinson could still face jail over the allegation he committed contempt of court by filming people in a criminal trial and broadcasting footage on social media.

Earlier this year, he was banned from Twitter for breaching the site’s policies on hateful content.

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