London — The European Commission is calling on social media companies including Facebook and Alphabet to develop a common set of tools to detect, block and remove terrorist propaganda and hate speech. In guidelines issued on Thursday, the commission asked the online platforms to appoint contacts who would allow them to be reached quickly with requests to remove illegal content. It asked them to lean more heavily on networks of "trusted flaggers" — experts in what constitutes illegal content — as well as making it easier for average users to flag and report possible extremist content. "Illegal content should be removed as fast as possible, and can be subject to specific timeframes, where serious harm is at stake, for instance in cases of incitement to terrorist acts," the commission said. The commission did not specify exactly how quickly social media companies should take down content, saying it would analyse the issue further. In May 2016, a number of social media companies, includ...

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