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Facebook is facing increased regulation of its content with a new ruling from the EU's top court.

The top court in the European Union recently ruled that judges in the EU can order Facebook to remove certain posts, thus increasing the regulation experienced by the tech giant.

The ruling not only applies to Facebook, but other social media networks as well. Judges can now ask posts that are either identical or deemed equivalent to content that has been deemed as illegal to be removed. Additionally, EU law does not restrict the extent of these post removals within the EU. Orders of removal from the EU can be applied globally if it adheres to international law.

Free speech activists are worried that this new regulation will be overtly impeding free expression on the internet.

The court ruling “undermines the longstanding principle that one country does not have the right to impose its laws on speech on another country. It also opens the door to obligations being imposed on internet companies to proactively monitor content and then interpret if it is ‘equivalent’ to content that has been found to be illegal,” a Facebook representative said.

New precedents are being set because Facebook typically removes posts as it adheres to local law but leaves those removed posts accessible in other parts of the world. Out of top 15 countries with content restrictions, three of those countries are European.

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