Bernard Cazeneuve
France's foreign minister Bernard CazeneuveReuters

The French interior minister has asked Google, Facebook and Twitter to immediately remove extremist propaganda from the internet when the French authorities alert them.

Bernard Cazeneuve told journalists he has made the request during a visit yesterday to Silicon Valley and San Francisco, according to news agency AP.

"We emphasised that when an investigation is under way we don't want to go through the usual government to government channels, which can take so long," said Cazeneuve, following a meeting with representatives from the three US social media giants. "It's important to have full cooperation and quick reaction.''

The French minister's disclosure comes just over a month after the attacks on the satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo.

The reaction from Twitter and Facebook appears ambiguous. Spokespeople said they would do everything possible to block material that incites violence. However, they did not state that they would go along with the request for direct cooperation with French authorities.

"We regularly host ministers and other governmental officials from across the world at Facebook, and were happy to welcome Mr Cazeneuve today," a Facebook spokesperson said. "We work aggressively to ensure that we do not have terrorists or terror groups using the site, and we also remove any content that praises or supports terrorism."

According to reporting by Al Jazeera, when asked whether Twitter would work closely with French investigators, a spokesperson merely stated that their contains guidelines for law enforcement agencies who wish to request information.

"We review all reported content against our rules, which prohibit direct, specific threats of violence against others,'' the spokesperson wrote in an email. However, Twitter's chief executive Dick Costolo has recently acknowledged that the social network fails to protect users from abusive content.

Cazeneuve said he wants to liaise closely with the tech giants to end the use of websites and videos by extremists to recruit followers.

"I told them we can figure this out together," he said, "and block these sites that are enticing the most vulnerable members of our society to commit terrorist acts,'' he said.