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Facebook, Google and Twitter agree to delete some hate speech

Germany has a promise from internet giants that they'll quickly purge hate speech when it incites crime.

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Germany has long complained that major internet services don't do enough to fight hate speech, and it now looks like those companies are going to do something about it. Facebook, Google and Twitter have all promised Germany that, "as a rule," they'll delete criminal forms of hate speech (such as inciting people to violence) within 24 hours. The push for action comes primarily in response to increased racism following Europe's refugee crisis, but it's not unexpected in light of the country's decades-old battle with hate.

The move is slightly surprising when you consider the tendency of these services to fight censorship tooth and nail. Facebook, for instance, has denied that it recently broke German law by leaving hate speech online. However, the two sides clearly share some common ground. Facebook, Google and Twitter already have policies forbidding hate speech -- to some extent, they're just reconciling those guidelines with Germany's policies.

[Image credit: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images]

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