Russia fined Google nearly 130,000 euros for “banned” content

The digital giant has twice been accused of failing to remove content related to the war in Ukraine and deemed illegal in Russia, after refusing to remove videos from YouTube.

Tensions are mounting between Google and Russia. A court in the country has just condemned the American company to a fine of 11 million rubles (nearly 130,000 euros at the current rate). He accuses him of not having deleted content “Forbidden” on the Russian offensive in Ukraine, according to Russian news agencies. In detail, the company was found guilty in two cases of administrative violation and thus saw itself inflicted fines of 4 and 7 million rubles.

This conviction follows two complaints filed by Roskomnadzor, the Russian telecoms policeman, for content deemed illegal. Among them, Google refused to remove from YouTube a video containing incorrect information. This is an alleged telephone conversation between Russian servicemen and their relatives, in which the soldiers report heavy human losses. Another video posted on the Google platform responded to calls from the Ukrainian radical group Pravy Sektor to be the organizer of attacks and acts of sabotage on Russian territory.

Penalties expected for Google

The condemnation of Google by Russian justice is not a surprise. For several weeks, the Mountain View firm has been exposed to sanctions, including a blockage in the country. Last March, she was accused – along with YouTube – of activities “terrorists” by the Russian telecom regulator. He also criticizes the video platform for being an anti-Russian information war tool in relation to the censorship of national media channels and public figures. More recently, Google took on Russia’s wrath with the blocking of the country’s parliamentary channel on YouTube.

Apart from the war in Ukraine, Russia is ending on foreign digital companies. At the end of December, Google was sanctioned with a record fine of 87 million euros for not having removed content reported as illegal. Along with Meta, he was found guilty of recidivism concerning the restriction of access to this kind of publications.

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