Twitter the latest social media platform Russia imposes fines for illegal content

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A Russian court on Thursday fined Twitter for failing to remove content the country considers illegal.

The fine of 3 million rubles, or $40,000, comes after the social media platform allegedly failed to remove content containing instructions on how to prepare Molotov cocktails and offend the national anthem and the Russian flag, reported Radio Free Europe. The outlet also wrote that Russian officials had accused Twitter of failing to remove content “spreading the Nazi swastika.”

The Russian government’s sanction against Twitter is the latest the country has imposed on social media giants in recent days. Just two days before the court imposed a fine on Twitter, it fined Meta, Facebook’s parent company, $54,000 after being accused of failing to remove ‘LGBT propaganda’, reports Reuters. Radio Free Europe also reported that the fine imposed on Meta comes after the company was accused of failing to remove content insulting the Russian flag and coat of arms.

TikTok was also fined around $25,000 by a Moscow court this week for LGBTQ content, Euronews reported.

The fines come as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has lasted for more than two months and the country is targeting social media companies. A few days after the invasion in late February, Russia decided to block Facebook and Twitter.

In March, TikTok said it was stopping live streaming and the ability for users to upload new content in Russia after the country passed a law criminalizing the distribution of “fake news”.

“We have no choice but to suspend live streaming and new content from our video service while we review the implications of this security law. Our in-app messaging service will not be affected,” the company announced in March.

A Russian court on Thursday fined Twitter for failing to remove certain content. Above, Twitter headquarters on April 27, 2022 in San Francisco, California.
justin sullivan

The law cracking down on the dissemination of information in Russia has also led major news agencies, including the BBC and CNN, to suspend operations in the country. Breaking the law, which prohibits the dissemination of what the government considers “false” information about the war in Ukraine or the Russian military, could result in a 15-year prison sentence.

Earlier this month, Russian state media reported that Russian officials had begun proceedings to send bailiffs to collect a fine from Facebook for failing to remove “prohibited information”.

The Federal Service of Judicial Officers of Russia (FSSP) claimed at the time that Meta had been fined almost $24 million which he had not paid.

Radio Free Europe reported on Thursday that the fine against Twitter was issued by the Taganka Magistrate’s Court after Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor sought a sanction against the social media company.

Newsweek contacted Twitter for comment.

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