Russia files fines against Facebook, Google alleging failure to remove “banned content”

Russia files fines against Facebook, Google alleging failure to remove “banned content”
AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin
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Russia is filing protocols against tech giants Facebook and Google for what the country’s communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, has said is a failure by the social media networks to remove banned content. 

According to Kyiv Post, citing Radio Free Europe, Russia’s TASS news agency quoted a court source stating that five protocols against both Facebook and Google were received by the court, with fines potentially amounting to 200 million rubles ($267,000 US) each. 

Twitter has already received protocols for similar violations, which may see the company fined as much as $320,000, the source added. 

Russian critics of the Kremlin routinely use social media to bypass state control of media and reach tens of millions of Russian citizens with anti-government messaging. 

Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who was imprisoned in January, used social networks to organize some of the largest government protests since 2011-12. 

Russian authorities have threatened to ban social media altogether, but have recently stepped back from such threats, although Russian regulators have throttled user connections to social media platforms.

A date has yet to be set for the hearing, TASS stated. Roskomnadzor, Twitter and the court did not respond to requests for comment.

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