Google fined more than 126,000 euros in Russia

published on Thursday, April 21, 2022 at 12:52 p.m.

A Russian court on Thursday fined US giant Google 11 million rubles (more than 126,000 euros at the current rate) for failing to remove “banned” content about Russia’s offensive in Ukraine.

The press service of the Moscow courts clarified on its Telegram account that Google had been sentenced following two separate complaints filed in particular by the Russian telecoms policeman, Roskomnadzor, because the American giant had not removed from its platforms content deemed illegal in Russia.

Google has been criticized in particular for the publication on YouTube of a video of an alleged telephone conversation between Russian soldiers and their relatives in which the soldiers complained of significant human losses in their ranks, Russian news agencies reported.

Another video posted on Youtube and deemed illegal in Russia contained calls from the Ukrainian radical group Pravy Sektor to carry out attacks and acts of sabotage on Russian territory, according to the agencies.

Russia promised retaliation in early April after the YouTube account of Russia’s lower house of parliament was shut down. Many pro-Kremlin media channels and Russian officials were also blocked there.

The Russian telecoms policeman, Roskomnadzor, accused Google and YouTube of “terrorist” activities in March, foreshadowing a possible blocking of the site in Russia, as Twitter, Instagram and many independent media have been since the offensive in Ukraine.

The Russian authorities have strongly reinforced the legal arsenal to control communication on the conflict, threatening up to 15 years in prison those who disseminate “false information” about the Russian army.


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