Facebook's chair Mark Zuckerberg said that he understood the need to stamp out hate speech against migrants on the world's biggest social network, and that the network's privacy policies would be changed.

The move follows a charm offensive in Germany, where the company he co-founded has faced criticism for months from politicians and regulators over its privacy practices and a slow response to anti-immigrant postings by neo-Nazi sympathisers.

Zuckerberg said at a town hall meeting in Berlin: "Really, our education and learning more about German culture and German law has led us to change our approach on that to now include hate speech against migrants as an important part of what we have no tolerance for on Facebook.

"So this is always a work in progress. I am not going to claim that we are perfect. I will definitely not. You know, our system relies on people in the community being able to reach out and tell us what they think is offensive, and then we staff teams of people, hundreds of people around the world to be able to go look into those claims and follow the guidelines to take down the content that we feel is hate speech according to those policies,"

"We are always trying to do better. This is an area where we recognise how sensitive this is, especially with the migrant crisis here and all the sensitivity around that recently. And this is something where just being engaged more with the German people and the culture and government has pointed us and helped us get in a better direction. There is still work to do, we want to do that. We hear the message loud and clear and we are committed to doing better. There is not a place for this kind of content on Facebook," he added.

Facebook's rules forbid bullying, harassment and threatening language, but critics say it does not enforce them properly. It has hired a Bertelsmann business services unit to monitor and delete racist posts on its platform in Germany.