Russian authorities on Thursday warned social media giant Facebook of fines up to 10% of its annual business in the country unless it fails to remove content Moscow deems illegal.
Continuing in its standoff with US Big Tech, state communications regulator Roskomnadzor told Reuters it was planning to send an official notification to Facebook representatives in Russia, saying it had repeatedly failed to remove restricted information. bar failed. That said, until the situation is resolved, there could be a fine of 5% or 10% of Facebook’s annual Russian business. Facebook’s violations include failing to remove posts containing child pornography, drug abuse and extremist content, as separately reported by Vedomosti daily.
Facebook had no immediate comment. Moscow has increased pressure on foreign tech companies over the past year, as part of a long-running push to claim greater sovereignty over its segment of the Internet, including allowing companies to access their territories. Includes attempts to store personal data of Russians. Russia on Wednesday threatened to block Alphabet Inc-owned YouTube after the video-hosting giant removed Russian state-backed broadcaster RT’s German-language channels from its site. Earlier this year, Roskomnadzor wrote to Facebook and other social media firms demanding that they call on minors to take part in anti-government protests following the arrest of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
Vedomosti cited experts who estimated Facebook’s annual Russian business at around 12 billion rubles ($165 million). Reuters could not immediately verify that estimate. Roskomnadzor has opened 17 separate administrative cases this year against Facebook for failing to remove banned content, court documents showed, with 64 million rubles fined or pending. A turnover penalty would dwarf those imposed so far. “The administration of Facebook has not paid the fine,” said Vedomosti, citing Roskomnadzor.
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