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Russia fines Google $98 million while penalizing Facebook $27 million
A Russian court fined Google nearly $$98.4 million while also slapping Facebook’s parent company Meta with a $27.2 million fine for failing to delete content banned by local law.
The Tagansky District Court said that Google repeatedly neglected to remove the banned content.
Google said it would study the court documents before deciding on its next steps.
Friday's rulings marked the first time that a Russian court imposed a fine based on revenue.
Russian courts had previously imposed smaller fines on Google, Facebook, and Twitter.
Roskomnadzor, the Russian communications watchdog, said Google and Meta violated the ban on distributing content that promotes extremist ideology, insults religious beliefs, and encourages dangerous behavior by minors.
According to Roskomnadzor, Facebook and Instagram have failed to remove 2,000 items despite the courts’ requests to do so, while Google has failed to delete 2,600 such items.
Russian authorities said social media platforms failing to purge content related to extremist views, drug abuse, and weapons and explosives.
They have also demanded that foreign tech giants store the personal data of Russian citizens on Russian servers, threatening them with fines or possible bans for failure to comply.
Alexander Khinshtein, head of the committee on information policies in the lower house of the Russian parliament, said Russian law envisages other forms of punishment for failure to comply with court orders, including complete blocking and slowing down traffic.