Facebook, Google and Twitter have agreed to delete hate speech deemed illegal in Germany within 24 hours.
The move follows pressure from German authorities concerned about the increasing volume of racist abuse being posted on social networking sites.
In a joint statement Tuesday, the Justice Ministry and the three companies said that it will become easier for users and anti-racism groups to flag hate speech.
The content will be examined by specialist teams and removed within a day if possible.
Justice Minister Heiko Maas said the measures weren’t intended to curtail free speech but rather to ensure German law is applied online.
Germany has strict laws against incitement to racial hatred, a reaction to the country’s Nazi past.