Russia accuses Google of spreading fake news and imposes new fine

Google was sentenced this Thursday, April 21, 2022 to a fine of 11 million rubles, or €126,000, by a Russian court. The American giant is criticized for not having deleted several content deemed “illegal” in connection with the Ukrainian conflict on its various services, YouTube in mind.

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Since the start of the war in Ukraine, the Russian authorities have been hunting for content available on the web that differs from the official discourse of the Kremlin. This is why Russia has threatened Wikipedia with blocking in the country if the online encyclopedia does not delete “information” deemed inaccurate on the conflict.

Same procedure concerning YouTube, the platform being accused by the Kremlin of broadcasting videos that contradict its discourse on the war in Ukraine. It’s not the only Google service to have borne the brunt of Russian censorship, as Google News was banned from the territory for spreading “unreliable” information about the invasion.

Read also: Russia bans Facebook and Instagram, deemed “extremist” by the Kremlin

Google fined again by Russia

However, we learn this Thursday, April 21, 2022 that Russia has decided to carry out its threats concerning Google. In two complaints filed by Roskomnadzor, the Russian telecoms policeman, the American firm is accused of not having removed content deemed illegal from its services. According to the Tagansky court in Moscow, Google was therefore found guilty in his two cases of administrative offenses and was sentenced to fines of 4 and 7 million rubles respectively, or roughly €126,000.

The complaints relate in particular to the publication on YouTube of a video of a supposed telephone conversation between Russian soldiers and their relatives in which they describe the massive losses in the Russian ranks. Another video by Ukrainian radical group Pravy Sektor was also in Roskomnadzor’s sights.

Whatever, this court decision against Google is not surprising. In March 2022, Roskomnadzor taxed Google and YouTube “of terrorist activities” like Facebook for that matter. This statement presaged future legal sanctions against the American giant. Note that in August 2021, Google was already heavily fined for not removing “banned” content, this time relating to the country’s handling of the pandemic.

Source : 20 minutes

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