Facebook
Governments around the globe requested 35,000 pieces of data from FacebookReuters

Social media giant Facebook says that government requests for user data was up by a quarter in the first half of the year.

The social media giant said that there was a 24% increase, in comparison to the previous six months, in governments around the globe asking for user data, taking the total tally to 35,000.

In its third Government Requests Report, Facebook also said that the amount of content on its site which is restricted by local laws was up 19% in the same timeframe.

Governments are freely allowed to request user data for investigative purposes, but the social media giant is adamant that it screens any request thoroughly.

Chris Sonderby, Facebooks deputy general counsel, said: "We scrutinise every government request we receive for legal sufficiency under our terms and the strict letter of the law, and push back hard when we find deficiencies or are served with overly broad requests."

The report comes as Facebook is embroiled in a benefit fraud trial which saw the company hand over data from 400 users to a New York court last year.

"We're aggressively pursuing an appeal to a higher court to invalidate these sweeping warrants and to force the government to return the data it has seized," it said in one of its blog posts.