Russia has filed two lawsuits against Google for not removing banned content

Russia’s communications regulator said on Tuesday it had filed two administrative lawsuits against Alphabet’s Google for failing to remove banned information from the YouTube video-sharing platform, accusing it of blatantly spreading false content.

Roskomnadzor said Google could be fined up to 8 million RUB (approximately Rs. 7,104,700) or to repeat the crime in Russia for up to 20 percent of the company’s annual revenue.

It says YouTube has become one of the main platforms in the “information war” against Russia.

Google did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.

Russia has restricted access to Twitter and Meter flagship Facebook and Instagram services since sending troops to Ukraine on February 24, as a heated dispute with US technology giants escalates into a battle to control the flow of information.

YouTube, which has blocked Russian state-funded media around the world, is under intense pressure from Moscow, which earlier this month accused it of promoting itself as a threat to Russian citizens.

“The American platform is capable of openly spreading false information that contains misleading information about the course of special military operations in Ukraine, disrespecting the armed forces of the Russian Federation, as well as information of an extremist nature, including the call for violence.”

Russia said last week that Meta was guilty of “extremist activity”, which the company’s lawyer denied in a Moscow court.

Russia has launched a special operation in Ukraine to reduce its neighbor’s military capabilities and eliminate what it calls “dangerous nationalists.”

Ukrainian forces have put up stiff resistance and the West has responded by imposing massive sanctions on Russia.

Thomson Reuters 2022

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