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Russian court fines Twitter on charges of failing to delete content

Reuters
Russian court fines Twitter on charges of failing to delete content

TWITTER. People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo in this illustration picture taken September 27, 2013

Kacper Pempel/Reuters

Moscow's Tagansky District Court issues 3 separate fines against Google of 3.2 million rubles, 3.3 million rubles and 2.4 million rubles

A Russian court fined Twitter a total of 8.9 million rubles ($116,800) on Friday, April 2, over accusations that the service had failed to delete banned content.

Moscow said last month it had slowed the speed of Twitter inside Russia, and on March 16 threatened to ban the US social media service outright over content that it said ranged from child pornography to drug abuse.

Twitter declined to comment on Friday. Last month it said it was worried about the Russian action’s impact on free speech, and denied that it allowed its platform to be used to promote any illegal behavior.

The Tagansky District Court in Moscow said in a series of statements that it had issued three separate fines against Google of 3.2 million rubles, 3.3 million rubles and 2.4 million rubles.

It said the fines related to offences committed on January 22-24 this year, including “violating the procedure for removing information”, all under Russia’s Administrative Offences Code.

Those dates coincided with the build up to and eruption of protests across Russia by crowds demanding the release of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

Ahead of those protests, Russia had asked some social networks to stop the spread of posts encouraging minors to take part in unsanctioned rallies.

Russia has in recent months taken steps to exert more influence over foreign social media platforms.

Bills passed by the lower house of parliament in December last year allowed Russia to impose large fines on platforms that do not delete banned content and even to restrict access to US social media giants if they “discriminate” against Russian media. – Rappler.com