ARE technology firms doing enough to tackle the spread of terror?

Google, Facebook, Amazon and the like are being urged by Theresa May to go “further and faster” in removing extremist content. She is challenging social networks and search engines to find ways to take down terrorist material in two hours.

Tech giant Google said firms were doing their part but could not do it alone – governments and users needed to help.

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In the wake of the botched Parsons Green attack, Google became the latest of the web giants to be accused by the Daily Mail, of having “blood on its hands”. This was based on fears that people searching the internet could look up for instructions on how to make a fairy light bomb similar to the one used in last Friday’s Tube attack.

The same thing happened with the Westminster attack when, the Mail called Google “the terrorist’s friend” for hosting content that described how cars could be used as weapons of terror.

Google says it had already spent hundreds of millions of pounds on tackling the problem. Facebook and Twitter said they were working hard to rid their networks of terrorist activity and support.

Nevertheless, Amazon found itself in deep water this week after it emerged that the way it bundles some products handily packaged up ingredients for potential bomb-makers.

It is about time that tech companies took seriously their responsibility as publishers – rather than mere hosts – of extremist material. If newspapers published such content in print or online they would be hammered with fines and the prospect of legal action.

Tech firms need to be held to account.