In Brief

Theresa May calls on G7 to combat online extremism

World leaders urged to put pressure on companies such as Google and Facebook to help fight 'hateful ideology'

Theresa May will push for world leaders to work harder to combat extremism on social media and elsewhere online in the wake of the Manchester attack.

She will tell leaders at the G7 summit in Sicily that more pressure should be put on tech and social media companies to remove extremist material from their sites, arguing that the fight has moved "from the battlefield to the internet".

According to the Daily Mirror, May's speech will also contain a plea for "leading countries to form a co-ordinated effort to force firms like Google, Facebook and Twitter to do more" to block material deemed extreme or illegal.

Speaking at Downing Street today, the Prime Minister said she would lead the counter-terrorism discussion in Sicily on "how to work together to prevent the plotting of terrorist attacks online and to stop the spread of hateful extremist ideology on social media."

Nato and the G7 working together could "enable us to work more closely together as we work to defeat the evil of terrorism", she added.

May believes the pressure put on social media companies should focus on developing tools that could "automatically identify and remove harmful material" based on its contents, informing authorities when this harmful material is spotted, and revising industry guidelines "to make them absolutely clear about what constitutes harmful material", reports The Guardian

Security minister Ben Wallace told the BBC that the use of social media was "one of the biggest challenges" in the fight against extremism.

Encryption made it "almost impossible for us to actually lift the lid on these people", he said, adding: "We are determined to not let [tech companies] off the hook with the responsibility they have in broadcasting some horrendous [material], not only manuals about how to make bombs, but also grooming materials.

"We all think they could all do more... We need to have the tools to make them, where we need to, remove material quicker."

Facebook has come under scrutiny in particular over claims it is not doing enough to counter extreme material uploaded to its pages, the Guardian adds.

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