Russian Court fines Google with $50.8 Million Fine for Alleged Spread of Fake Information

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LI Network

Published on: December 22, 2023 at 12:48 IST

Google has been fined 4.6 billion roubles ($50.84 million) by a Russian court for its alleged failure to remove what authorities term as “fake” information related to the conflict in Ukraine and other subjects, as reported by the TASS news agency.

The fine is part of the ongoing tensions between Russia and foreign technology companies concerning issues such as content, censorship, data handling, and local representation. This conflict has intensified since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

According to the RIA news agency, the penalty also stems from Google’s purported failure to eliminate “extremist content” and the dissemination of what Russia classifies as “LGBT propaganda.”

Google has not yet responded to requests for comment.

Russia officially refers to the situation in Ukraine as a “special military operation.” In a controversial move, Russia’s Supreme Court, in November, designated LGBT activists as “extremists,” raising concerns about potential arrests and prosecutions of gay and transgender individuals.

While platforms like Twitter and Meta Platforms’ Facebook and Instagram have faced bans in Russia, Alphabet’s YouTube has been a specific target of the Russian government’s scrutiny. Despite the fines, YouTube has not been blocked.

The imposed fine was calculated based on Google’s annual turnover in Russia. The tech giant previously received turnover-based penalties of 7.2 billion roubles in late 2021 and 21.1 billion roubles in August 2022.

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