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.