The question of how much responsibility technology companies should bear for policing the activities of their users online has become increasingly vexed in a world of extremism and hate speech.
The issue erupted again last month in Britain when MPs on the Commons home affairs committee lambasted representatives of Google, Facebook and Twitter, saying they should be “ashamed” of their failure to take down offensive material posted online, given the resources available to them.
Just a week later, it emerged that the terrorist behind the Westminster attack had been on WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, just before embarking on his killing spree. Amber Rudd, the home secretary, asked social media companies to stop offering a “secret place for terrorists to communicate”.
But while politicians demand that tech groups monitor their platforms, the companies say they are already taking action,
Read more: Why tech companies struggle with hate speech