01/06/2016 12:02 AM AEST

Facebook, Twitter And Others Agree To New Hate Speech Rules

The tech giants must remove hate speech from their sites within 24 hours.

Regis Duvignau / Reuters
A Facebook logo is pictured on an Apple's Ipad in Bordeaux, southwestern France, March 10, 2016. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/Illustration
Fabrizio Bensch / Reuters

BRUSSELS, May 31 - Facebook, Twitter, Google's YouTube and Microsoft pledged on Tuesday to review requests for the removal of hateful content posted on their platforms within 24 hours as part of a code of conduct agreed with EU regulators.

Authorities across Europe have been trying in recent months to get social platforms to crack down on rising online racism following the refugee crisis, with some even threatening action against the companies.

European Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said tackling illegal online hate speech has taken on added urgency because of the increasing use of social media by terrorist groups to radicalize young people and spread violence and hatred.

The European Commission said the four web giants will review the majority of valid notifications for removal of illegal hate speech in less than 24 hours and remove or disable access to such content if necessary. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by Julia Fioretti)

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