Russian court fines Google over banned content amid threat to slow services

May 25 (UPI) -- A Russian court fined Google Tuesday for failure to remove banned content amid the federal supervisory authority's threat to slow down its services.

Russian Internet regulator Roskomnadzor accused Google of leaving up banned content, which promoted drug use, featured child pornography, and incited minors to attend unauthorized protests, The Moscow Times reported. The agency previously threatened to fine Google and slow down its services if it did not remove an estimated 5,000 links within 24 hours.


The Tagansky district's magistrate court in Moscow fined Google 6 million rubles ($82,000) over three administrative offenses involving procedure for restricting access to prohibited information, with the company fined 2 million rubles for each violation, Russia's RBC news website reported.

On Monday, Google filed its first lawsuit against Roskomnadzor over its demand in January for it to take down 12 videos from Google-owned YouTube, which the agency said urged minors to participate in unauthorized rallies.

The first hearings in the suit against Roskomnadzor are slated for July 14 in the Moscow Arbitration Court.

The Russian agency has also demanded that Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Vkontakte, and Twitter, delete tens of thousands of posts, videos and pictures, citing violations of Russian law against promoting minors participation in unauthorized rallies, according to The Moscow Times. The pushback against social media giants has followed a wave of support for jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.


Russia's communication regulator has also been slowing down Twitter and has threatened to ban it for flouting deadlines to remove prohibited content, The Moscow Times previously reported.

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