A Russian court on Thursday said it had handed social network operator Twitter two fines totalling RUB 7 million (roughly Rs. 69.23 lakhs) for failing to delete banned content.
Russia has taken steps in recent months to regulate and curb the power of social media and technology giants. More fines are expected to be announced later in the day.
Yesterday, it was reported that US technology giants Google and Facebook were fined over a failure to delete content that Moscow deems illegal.
Russia has already placed a punitive slowdown on US social network Twitter for not deleting banned content, part of a push by Moscow to rein in Western tech companies and beef up what it calls its internet “sovereignty.”
Facebook was fined RUB 26 million (roughly Rs. 2.57 crores) in total, on eight separate counts, while Alphabet’s Google was ordered to pay a total of RUB 6 million (roughly Rs. 59.42 crores) for three different offences, Moscow’s Tagansky District Court said.
Both companies were guilty of administrative offences, the court said in separate statements.
The charges concern posts that Russia says encouraged minors to join unsanctioned protests in January, when people across the country took to the streets to support Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny after he was detained.
The fines come amid a wider spat between Moscow and Google. Russia’s communications watchdog on Monday warned that Moscow could eventually slow down the company’s traffic in the country if it failed to delete prohibited content.
Last week, Google’s Russian arm said it had lodged an appeal against a Moscow court order obliging it to unblock the YouTube account of a Christian Orthodox news channel owned by a Russian businessman who is under US and EU financial sanctions.
In April, a court issued three separate fines against Twitter totalling RUB 8.9 million (roughly Rs. 88.15 lakhs), over accusations it had failed to delete banned content. TikTok has also been fined for similar offences this year.