Facebook launched a campaign to check hate speech and racism on the social media site in Europe, following complaints of increasingly xenophobic posts aimed at refugees and migrants. 

The campaign, called 'Online Civil Courage Initiative', was launched in Berlin on Monday through which Facebook will outsource the task of clamping down on inflammatory posts to non-governmental organisations in Europe and will provide one million euros for the purpose, the company said on its site.

"The initiative for civil courage Online will support European NGOs involved in the fight against online extremism in Europe, with more than one million euros, both financially and in terms of marketing activities," the statement said. 

Germany, which took in more than 1 million refugees and migrants in 2015, reported a surge in hate speech on social media, especially after the mass sexual assaults against women in several cities in which several asylum seekers were said to be involved. 

However, Germany had begun action against online hate speech even before the New Year's Eve incidents and had announced last month that it had reached a deal with Facebook, Google and Twitter that entailed that the companies will delete hate speech from their websites within 24 hours.

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg launched the new campaign on Monday.

"Hate speech has no place in our society -- not even on the Internet. Facebook is not a place for the dissemination of hate speech or incitement to violence. With this new initiative we can better understand the challenges of extremist statements on the Internet and better respond to it," she said

After the recent attacks on Pakistanis and Syrians in the German city of Cologne, local media had reported that some gangs had used Facebook to plan the assaults.