Russia fined Google 21.1 billion rubles ($374 million) on Monday for repeatedly failing to “take away prohibited info” — content material associated to the nation’s invasion and subsequent conflict in Ukraine. The nation’s telecommunication watchdog Roskomnadzor cited a court docket order and stated Google (significantly YouTube) didn’t take down content material that discredited “the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.”
The watchdog’s press launch additionally accused Google of not deleting “supplies selling extremism and terrorism” throughout its platforms. It famous that the high-quality was calculated primarily based on the corporate’s annual turnover in Russia, nevertheless it didn’t specify any share.
Final month, the Russian telecommunication watchdog warned the corporate that it might face a high-quality of 5-10% of its turnover for repeated violation of native legal guidelines on restricted content material. In response to information from the Interfax information company’s Spark database of Russian firms, Google’s income for 2021 was 134.3 billion rubles ($2.3 billion). So the brand new high-quality can be round 15% of the corporate’s annual turnover.
Final December, Russia issued Google its first revenue-based high-quality of seven.2 billion rubles ($98 million) within the nation, for failing to take away unlawful content material as per the nation’s legal guidelines.
After Russia started attacking Ukraine in February, Google restricted its companies with steps together with stopping billing on the Play Retailer and YouTube for Russian customers, proscribing Google Information, pausing its advert gross sales within the nation, and blocking YouTube channels of state-backed media. Different main tech giants like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Cisco, and Dell additionally moved to scale back or exit enterprise operations in Russia.
Notably, Google’s Russia subsidiary filed for chapter final month after native regulators froze its financial institution accounts in Could. The corporate stated it moved lots of its staff out of Moscow after the preventing started.
Whereas the nation didn’t ban YouTube or Google’s companies like Fb and Instagram, it issued repeated warnings to the search large for a number of causes together with “anti-Russia” advertisements and blocking state-sponsored media’s YouTube channel.
Russia has been waging a serious propaganda conflict to bolster its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s actions have been met with sturdy rebuke each exterior of the nation and inside it, so in an effort to suppress the information in regards to the assault that’s essential of its actions, Russia has been controlling the move of data as a lot as it might probably. It handed a regulation in March that threatened these within the media with as much as 15 years of jail time for reporting what it deemed “pretend information” about its invasion of Ukraine. In response, a number of information shops and social media firms like TikTok shut down their operations or restricted their companies within the nation.
Google’s trials and tribulations in Russia come at a time when it’s dealing with different issues in Europe, albeit for very totally different causes. In Denmark, authorities have banned Chromebooks and Google Workspace in faculties over information safety violations. In France, Italy, and Austria, regulators are at present investigating Google Analytics’s information safety practices.
We now have reached out to Google for a remark.