Read our new manifesto

Ofcom outlines 'social responsibilities' of Google, Twitter & Facebook

Internet giants such as Google, Twitter and Facebook must face up to their ‘social responsibilities’ in the wake of combative remarks made by incoming GCHQ chief Robert Hannigan, who said they were unwittingly aiding and abetting terrorism, according to Ofcom.

Echoing such sentiments Ed Richards, chief executive of the media regulator, said: “I think it’s fair to say that there are social responsibilities that come with a media that are as prevalent and significant as those social media [companies] have become.

“It’s absolutely right to ask what society should expect of those organisations as responsible companies with an impact on society.

“At one level what he (Hannigan) is saying is clearly right in the sense that social media are being used by all sorts of different communities, clearly including terrorist and jihadi [groups], and are part of the way that groups like that communicate.”

Richards spoke out whilst giving evidence to a Commons review of the regulators work.