Social media giants will face tough new laws to prevent the spread of knife crime, the Home Secretary threatened -- as he spoke of fears for his own children's safety.
Sajid Javid said it was time for a legal crackdown on social media images promoting
gang culture, in the same way that child sex abuse images and terrorist propaganda have already been outlawed.
In a warning to online firms, he said:
My message to these companies is we are going to legislate
and how far we go depends on what you decide to do now. At the moment we don't have the legislation for these types of [knife crime-related] content.
I have it for terrorist content and child sexual abuse images.
Google is among several firms which have been criticised for hosting content glamorising gang culture. Rappers using its YouTube video platform post so-called drill music videos to boast about the number of people they have stabbed or shot, using
street terms. The platform has taken down dozens of videos by drill artists, after warnings from the Metropolitan Police that they were raising the risk of violence.
A clear link exists between bloodthirsty films and video games and teenage knife crime, claimed Plymouth MP Gary Streeter.
He argued for an urgent review examining how to censor what youngsters watched at the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee.
He highlighted fears of a knife arms race amid concerns that carrying the deadly weapons was becoming normal.
The committee says evidence to its inquiry also supported its view that violent DVDs and video games have a negative
influence on those who watch and play them, contributing around 10% of any person's predisposition to be violent.
Streeter said: That's something we have to have a long look at. Are we allowing our young people to be brutalised by some of this
dreadful violence we are allowing them to watch?
As part of the select committee inquiry, he was shown a number of video games, but he said he had to stop watching them as they were so sickening.
On the connection with knife
crime, he said: There's a clear link for some young people. There's no doubt that for certain young people violent video games and films is a very serious negative influence.