Turkey's parliament passed a government-backed law regulating social media on Wednesday that critics said will increase censorship and help authorities silence dissent.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AK Party, which has a majority with an allied nationalist party, had backed the bill. The assembly began debate of the new regulations on Tuesday, and its passage was as announced by parliament on Twitter.

The law requires foreign social media sites to appoint Turkish-based representatives to address authorities' concerns over content and includes deadlines for removal of material they take exception to.

Companies could face fines, blocked advertisements or have bandwidth slashed by up to 90 percent, essentially blocking access, under the new regulations.