It isn’t just tech giants that disown responsibility for terrorist attacks | Jonathan Freedland

After each atrocity, the government cites the ease with which extremist material can be accessed on the internet. But ministers are also to blame

It was nearly a decade ago now, when social media – and indeed my children – were in their infancy. My eldest son, then six, had a favourite toy, a remote-control car that could navigate water as well as land. He filmed it in the park, as it ploughed through muddy puddles, and wanted to post the video on YouTube. To add to what was then a novel experience, he added a soundtrack. To reinforce the watery theme, he chose Neil Young’s Down by the River.

Related: May calls on internet firms to remove extremist content within two hours

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