In the latest legal spat over Moscow’s controversial social media regulation laws, a Russian court on Friday slapped Google and Facebook parent company, Meta, with a cumulative $127 million fine for failing to delete content deemed illegal by Moscow. On Friday, the Tagansky District Court ruled that Google is ordered to pay about 7.2 million roubles ($98.4 million roughly), while Meta is to pay 2 million roubles ($27 million) for repeatedly failing to comply with the directives of Russian legislation on content. The ruling against Facebook comes a week after it was scheduled for another court trial after it had paid Russia at least Rs.1.7 crore on December 20.
As per the Associated Press, the ruling comes after Russian state communications watchdog Roskomnadzor specifically accused Google and Meta of violating the ban on distributing content that promotes “extremist ideology,” insults religious beliefs, and encourages dangerous behaviour by minors. The agency also informed that Facebook and Instagram, two parts of Meta, have failed to delete 2,000 items while Google failed to remove 2,600 posts, comments and other related data. According to the latest updates, Moscow has also warned that the two social media giants could be fined a percentage of their annual revenue.
Facebook pays 1.7cr to Russia
Earlier on December 20, Facebook paid 17 million roubles (Rs. 1.7 cr) for failing to comply with the Russian social media laws. Meta was scheduled to face court this week over repeated violations of Russian legislation on content. In October, Moscow sent state bailiffs to enforce the collection of 17 million roubles. Meanwhile, as per Interfax report citing a federal bailiffs’ database, on Sunday, there were more enforcement proceedings against the company. Apart from the popular social media app, Telegram has also paid 15 million roubles in fines for failing to comply with the Russian social media legislations that came into force in 2016. In November, Facebook paid another 4 million roubles ($53,000 over its refusal to adhere to Russian data localisation laws, the Moscow Times had reported.
Facebook pays 1.7 Cr fine to Russia after failing to delete content Moscow deems illegal
It is pertinent to mention that, under the Russian social media localisation laws, all foreign technology companies are required to store data related to Russian customers and users on servers located in Russia. The apparatus has drawn considerable flak as it’s provisions are said to severely breach privacy rights and allow unfettered back-door access to personal data that could be used to harass Kremlin critics.