Twitter, Facebook and BlackBerry Messenger will oppose blanket restrictions on their services during times of rioting and disorder, as executives from the firms meet Theresa May today to discuss the role of social networking in spreading violence.

Social networking and messaging services Twitter, Facebook and BBM were blamed for allowing people to mobilise disorder during the riots and looting earlier this month.

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Debate has raged over whether the technology should be shut down during times of disorder.

Today, bosses from the social networking giants are in meetings with Home Secretary May to discuss possible solutions to the problem.

Although May has promised that services will not be shut down, others, have argues otherwise. Tory MP Louise said that Facebook and Twitter should be shut off during emergencies to stop them being used to spread “riot info and fear”.

During the week of riots, the Prime Minister said the government was “working with the police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services".

Today, it is claimed that the talks will focus not on closing down the social networks, but on how authorities can better utilise them to quash false rumours, keep track of events, and notify service providers of accounts being used illegally.

Facebook and Twitter can already shut down accounts being used to incite crime while authorities may legally to intercept individuals’ BBM conversations.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "These discussions will help us determine how law enforcement and the networks can work better together. Among the issues to be discussed is whether and how we should be able to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.”