Google fined $41k in Russia for not removing banned content from YouTube

Social media giants consistently penalised by courts for spreading what Russia considers ‘fake’ information

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Friday 29 April 2022 21:16
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Google has been fined $41,000 in Russia for not removing banned content from YouTube.

A Russian court also fined Twitter three million roubles, the same amount as Google, for not removing banned content from the social media platform, the Interfax news agency reported on Thursday.

The content banned in Russia that was shared on Twitter included instructions on how to make Molotov cocktails, Interfax reported citing the Russian court.

Russia also fined Google 11 million roubles ($137,763) earlier this month for not deleting what the Russian court called “fake” information concerning the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a war effort the Russian state is referring to as a special military operation.

The court also claimed YouTube had failed to remove content produced by Ukrainian far-right groups, according to the Russian state-owned news agency TASS.

This month, Russia’s communications watchdog claimed that they were enacting measures to penalise Google for “spreading fakes” on the video-sharing platform.

They have previously warned the company that they would be fined if they didn’t acquiesce to their demands. The fines are part of a larger fight with foreign tech companies and media outlets to control the flow of information.

Moscow’s Tagansky District Court announced this month that they had found Google guilty of committing administrative violations, fining the company four and seven million roubles in separate cases, Reuters reported.

According to TASS, the fines were prompted by what Moscow thinks is the sharing of inaccurate figures of losses of Russian troops and civilian deaths and injuries in Ukraine, in addition to the posting of videos made by Ukrainian far-right organisations, including the nationalist Azov battalion.

On 24 February, Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine, claiming that it was a special military operation to impair their military power and remove people they call dangerous nationalists.

Russian President Vladimir Putin falsely claimed that Neo-Nazis are in charge in Ukraine, despite the fact that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is Jewish and lost family members in the Holocaust.

But the Ukrainian forces have put up a strong resistance as civilians pick up arms amid groundbreaking sanctions against Russia from the West.

Russia has blocked social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, but YouTube is still available despite mounting pressure from the Russian government.

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