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For failing to remove prohibited content, Russia fines Google $358 million

Google LLC was fined $358 million (21 billion rubles) by a court in Moscow for failing to place access restrictions on information that was illegal in the country.

For failing to remove prohibited content, Russia fines Google $358 million

More precisely, despite repeated demands from the Russian IT controller, Google and its subsidiary YouTube have not taken down the following items, as per a statement by Roskomnadzor, Russia’s internet watchdog:

  • Information on the progress of the “special military operation” in Ukraine, which brings the Russian Federation’s armed forces into disgrace.
  • Anything that supports terrorism and extremism.
  • Content endangering the life and health of minors by encouraging negative behavior.
  • Information encouraging participation in illegal mass action.

A number of provisions of the Russian Code of Administrative Offenses have been used by the Roskomnadzor in recent months to try to impose sanctions.

For the umpteenth time, the agency fined Google LLC 68 million rubles ($1.2 million) last month for failing to erase prohibited information.

Due to consecutive breaches of the same regulatory requirement, the subsequent fine would be revenue-based and might amount to 10% of the company’s yearly revenue.

The hefty fine of $358 million, according to Roskomnadzor, was in fact determined based on the company’s yearly business turnover in Russia.

Along with the fine, Google Search and YouTube users in Russia will now get a notice about the company breaking the law and won’t be permitted to display adverts or use them as information sources.

The same action was taken last week against Twitch Interactive, the well-known streaming site, for failing to remove content that had been made illegal in Russia.

Status of Google LLC in Russia

The Russian Google subsidiary, Google LLC, was compelled to declare bankruptcy after the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the extensive anti-fake news laws adopted in the nation. The company claimed it was unable to continue operations as a result of a series of hefty fines and, finally, asset confiscation.

Although there are some restrictions, Google’s free services are still available in Russia. However, neither businesses nor individuals are allowed to buy advertising campaigns there.

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