In another showdown, a Russian court has slapped an 11 million roubles ($137,763) fine on Google for failing to delete what it terms ‘fake’ information. This comes days after the US tech company banned major Russian media publications from its platform over their Ukraine war coverage while terming them as Russian government propaganda.
The Russian court meanwhile, has fined US technology major, Google for spreading ‘fake’ information about the conflict in Ukraine and YouTube videos produced by Ukrainian far-right groups.
Russia’s communications watchdog said earlier this month that it was taking steps to punish Google for ‘spreading fakes’ on YouTube, and has previously warned the U.S. company that it would be fined if it failed to comply, part of a wider battle with foreign tech firms and media to control information flows.
Google was found guilty of committing administrative violations and fined 4 million roubles and 7 million roubles in two cases, Moscow’s Tagansky District Court said on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Ukraine news agency said the fines pertained to what Moscow considers the distribution of inaccurate data about Russian troop’s losses and civilian casualties in Ukraine, as well as the distribution of video clips on YouTube produced by Ukrainian far-right groups such as the nationalist Azov battalion.
Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what it called a special operation to degrade its southern neighbour’s military capabilities and root out people it called dangerous nationalists.
Ukrainian forces have mounted stiff resistance and the West has imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow in an effort to force it to withdraw its forces.
Russia has blocked some foreign social media firms, including Meta Platforms Inc’s Facebook and Instagram, with domestic firms looking to pick up the pieces. YouTube, though under increasing pressure from the Russian government, remains available.