A court in Russia has fined Telegram and Facebook over failure to remove banned content from their platform. Facebook has been fined $234.913, while Telegram will pay $138,042, said the court based in the Russian capital Moscow.
The fine came on the heels of last month’s fine where Facebook was ordered to pay $359,635 for not taking down posts deemed “illegal” by the Russian authorities.
Social media platforms have been feeling the pressure from Russia’s state media watchdog Roskomnadzor in recent times. Most affected are foreign-owned social media companies like Facebook and Twitter.
A couple of months ago, Russia announced plans to slow down access to Twitter in the country. The country said this became imperative to protect its citizens from illegal content. The measure was announced by Russia’s communication authority who said Twitter failed to remove illegal content from its platform.
Russia’s Federal Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Communications Oversight Service, also known as Roskomnadzor, said that it was throttling down the speed of Twitter.
Throttling Twitter is one of two measures Roskomnadzor planned to take against the microblogging company—the Russian communication watchdog also announced plans to completely block access to Twitter if it does not comply.
“In order to protect Russian citizens and forcing the Internet service to comply with the legislation on the territory of the Russian Federation in relation to Twitter, since March 10, 2021, centralized response measures have been taken, namely, the primary slowdown of the service speed (according to the regulations). The slowdown will be implemented on 100% of mobile devices and 50% of stationary devices.
“If the Twitter online service continues to ignore the requirements of the Law, the measures of influence will continue in accordance with the response regulations (up to blocking) as long as the calls to commit suicide by minors, child pornography, as well as information about the use of drugs are removed.”
Also in 2017, the Russian authorities closed down LinkedIn for failing to comply with its laws on localizing its data within the country. The block came into effect after a court in Russia found LinkedIn guilty of breaching a law that requires holding Russian citizens’ data to store it on servers within the country.
The law asking Twitter and other Internet companies to comply and localize users’ personal data within Russia was passed in 2015. This has led to disagreements with some internet companies, including LinkedIn.