Russia imposes heavy fines on Meta, Twitter and TikTok for illegal content

Russia has fined social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook’s parent company Meta and TikTok. A Moscow court said the fine has been imposed on these foreign tech firms for not removing content from their platforms that the Russian government believes is illegal.

The Russian government has taken a tough approach to big tech companies this year. The government has increased pressure on companies to strictly control the Internet as part of a campaign. Its critics say the move is stifling personal and corporate liberties.

According to Russian news agencies, Moscow’s Tagansky District Court said a total fine of 1.3 million Russian rubles (about Rs 1.3 crore) has been imposed for not deleting illegal content on the Meta platform. This fine has been imposed in three separate administrative cases. Twitter and TikTok have also been fined.

There has been no response from Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok. In the same month, Meta and Alphabet’s Google also faced a similar case. These companies are accused of repeatedly violating Russian law on content and due to this, some percentage of their annual revenue can be charged as fine.

Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor has said that it has reduced the speed of Twitter. In Russia, the regulator has done this while taking punitive action for content such as child pornography, drug information and posts that abet minors to commit suicide. Twitter has denied that any illegal behavior was encouraged on its platform.

Russia has demanded that 13 foreign companies, including American companies, have been asked to set up in Russia by January 1. Failure to do so may result in a ban on these companies. This list includes Facebook, Twitter and Tiktok.