Russia is increasing the pressure on online platforms over content moderation, and the court said Google would have to pay 7.2 billion roubles, the equivalent of €86 million. For tech giant, it is fine for repeatedly failing to delete illegal content, Reuters said.
The fine based on the US tech giant’s Russian revenue, the local media said. In its efforts to take control of its so-called sovereign Internet, Kremlin has introduced several stringent new laws targeting foreign tech corporations.
The ruling comes as Russia has been ramping up pressure on online platforms, accusing the likes of Google, Twitter, and Facebook aka Meta of not adequately moderating content including pornographic material, posts about drugs and suicide.
The Human Rights Watch have criticized Moscow’s move, saying that such a campaign threatens freedom of speech. Russia’s media regulator blocked websites and apps linked to jailed Mr Navalny ahead of elections in September.
Russian courts have imposed smaller fines throughout the year in the millions of roubles. Google has already paid over 32 million roubles in fines related to illegal content this year.
Commenting on the decision of the Russian court, Google said it would look into ruling before deciding on further steps.