Telecoms giant Vodafone has announced new rules to block its advertising appearing on websites featuring hate speech or 'fake news'.

It said it had updated its content controls to ensure its global ads do not appear alongside "offensive content". The group added these controls will be monitored by Google, Facebook and its ad agency WPP.

The moves comes amid the intense debate about advertising from large companies appearing alongside objectionable online material.

The group said the measure will mean its ads will not appear alongside material that is "deliberately intended to degrade women or vulnerable minorities".

It added that its messages will also not appear besides content "presented as fact-based news (as opposed to satire or opinion) that has no credible primary source (or relies on fraudulent attribution to a primary source) with what a reasonable person would conclude is the deliberate intention to mislead."

The telecoms group, which has operations in 26 countries and has almost 516 million customers, said the changes will come into effect immediate effect.

Vodafone chief executive Vittorio Colao said: "Hate speech and fake news threaten to undermine the principles of respect and trust that bind communities together.

"Vodafone has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion; we also greatly value the integrity of the democratic processes and institutions that are often the targets of purveyors of fake news. We will not tolerate our brand being associated with this kind of abusive and damaging content."