Russia Fines Facebook, Telegram and Twitter For Not Deleting Content

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Russia: On Tuesday (14), a court in Moscow announced that it had fined Facebook and Twitter for not deleting content considered illegal, behavior that is part of Russia’s widespread crackdown on the internet and against big technology companies.

Tagansky District Court says Facebook has already received five fines totaling 21 million rubles, about R$1.8 million; Twitter received two, totaling 5 million rubles, or about R$360,000; and the Telegram accumulates a fine of 9 million rubles, or about R$ 650,000. None of the three companies commented on what happened.

In June, Russian deputies passed a law requiring Big Techs to open offices in the country by January 2022. The Data Localization Act has been in effect since 2015 and requires companies to handle Russian users’ data within the country’s perimeter. As of this new measure, platforms that do not follow the country’s guidelines will be banned.

Government criticism

According to Reuters, one of the reasons Internet services are under increasing pressure is the arrival of parliamentary elections in the country, which will take place from 17-19 September. State communications regulator Roskomnadzor is said to be trying to block virtual private networks (VPN) and online resources linked to government critics.

In late August this year, the Russian court fined Google for disregarding requests made by the government to delete content considered illegal, and in March the government reportedly reduced access to Twitter in the country, under the threat of blocking the social network.

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