Facebook, TikTok, Twitter fined by Russia over illegal content
- Meta and Google will battle court cases next week for suspected repeated violations of Russian legislation on content
- Twitter has been fined 10 million roubles across two cases
- Tiktok received a 4 million rouble penalty
Facebook paid 17 million roubles ($229,643) in fines to Russia for failing to delete content Moscow termed illegal, the Interfax news agency reported on Sunday. TikTok has also been fined. But a threat of potentially larger fines looms large on Facebook.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Alphabet's Google, will battle court cases next week for suspected repeated violations of Russian legislation on content and could be fined a percentage of its annual revenue in Russia. Facebook, however, was not immediately available to respond to a request for comment on Sunday.
Moscow's Tagansky District Court said Twitter was fined 10 million roubles across two cases, while TikTok received a 4 million rouble penalty.
In October this year, Russia asked state bailiffs to enforce the collection of 17 million roubles in fines imposed on Facebook. Interfax said there were no more enforcement proceedings against the company as of Sunday, citing the federal bailiff service's database.
Twitter's speed slowed down
Russia, meanwhile, has slowed down the speed of Twitter since March as a punitive measure for posts containing child pornography, drug abuse information or calls for minors to commit suicide, communications regulator Roskomnadzor has said.
Twitter denies allowing its platform to be used to promote illegal behaviour.
Moscow has also demanded that 13 foreign and mostly US technology companies must have set up in Russia by January 1 or face possible restrictions or outright bans. All three companies fined on Thursday are on that list.
Moscow has tightened its grip over tech firms this year in a campaign that critics called an attempt by the Russian authorities to exert tighter control over the internet, something they say threatens to stifle individual and corporate freedom. Interfax said messaging app Telegram has also paid 15 million roubles in fines. Telegram, however, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.