Moscow: Russian authorities have fined Facebook and Telegram apps for their alleged failure to remove banned content. The move can be considered as part of the government’s increasing efforts to control social media platforms amid political unrest in the country.
A Moscow court on Thursday fined Facebook 17 million rubles and Telegram 10 million rubles. The type of content the two platforms were unable to remove is not yet known. This is the second time fines have been imposed on both forums in recent weeks. Earlier on May 25, Facebook was fined 26 million rubles by Russian authorities for not removing content deemed illegal. At the same time, a month ago, Telegram was fined 50 million rubles for not removing content calling for demonstrations.
Earlier this year, Russia’s state communications watchdog Roskomnadzor threatened to ban Twitter for its alleged failure to remove illegal content. Officials had said that the platform had failed to remove information related to child pornography, narcotics and material that abetted children to commit suicide.
It is noteworthy that this year thousands of people took to the streets to demand the release of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s opponent Alexei Navalny from prison and support for this demonstration was gathered through social media. After this, Russian officials had also criticized social media, since then the tension between these forums and the government continues.