The Commission is to propose the regulation later this month, after finding companies such as Twitter, Google and Facebook were not showing enough progress on their own

The European Commission said it plans to propose legislation later this month that could force internet firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter to remove extremist or militant material within an hour of being notified about it.

The move, announced at a press conference, follows the Commission’s ultimatum in March that it would give internet companies three months to show that they were improving their content removal processes, or face legislation.

At the time the Commission said it was considering a one-hour time limit in cases when firms were notified that they were hosting militant or extremist material.

Up to now the Commission has taken a relatively hands-off approach, allowing firms to police themselves under a voluntary code of conduct.

The Commission said the code of conduct, originally agreed with Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube in 2016, could remain in place for content such as hate speech and counterfeit news, but said that for extremist material “absolute certainty” was needed.

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