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Facebook and Twitter among the companies to sign up to EU code to combat hate speech online

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Matthew Hansen
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Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and YouTube have agreed to a new code of conduct drafted by the EU that commits to combating online hate speech.

The European Commission announced that the code, which it created alongside the technology giants, includes a pledge by the companies to review all reports of abuse within 24 hours, as well as do more to clamp down on illegal and xenophobic content.

View photosMore Lauren Hurley/PA

The recent terror attacks in Belgium were cited as a key reason a clampdown has become more urgent as a means of combating extremism.

Vera Jourova, the EU commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality, said: The recent terror attacks have reminded us of the urgent need to address illegal online hate speech.

I welcome the commitment of worldwide IT companies to 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, added Ms Jourova.

We remain committed to letting the tweets flow.

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