West News Wire: According to RIA Novosti, a Russian court penalized American search engine giant Google more than 21 billion rubles ($366 million) on Monday for failing to remove illegal information about the conflict in Ukraine.
The IT company was fined based on turnover by Moscow’s Tagansky District Court for repeatedly refusing to remove content that was illegal under Russian legislation. The corporation was earlier ordered to take down all “misleading information” referencing Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine by Roskomnadzor, the country’s internet and media watchdog.
Google had received 17 notifications from Roskomnadzor requesting that it follow Russian law prior to the court’s decision, but the tech giant ignored them all. The total fine is equal to 10 percent of the annual revenue of the business and its linked structures.
Russia has long been critical of the way foreign platforms distribute online content that violates national laws. Last December, the Silicon Valley firm was hit with a fine of 7.2 billion rubles (around $98.1 million) for failing to take down banned content, which was the first time that an IT company had been fined in Russia with a penalty linked to its earnings.
In late June, Roskomnadzor completed a report regarding what it said was Google’s repeated failure to remove prohibited items, saying the company had not deleted at least 7,000 “illegal materials” from Youtube.
At the time, the watchdog accused the IT giant of promoting false information on the Ukraine conflict, and hosting material that supports extremism and encourages children to participate in unauthorized mass protests.