Google could be in a lot of trouble in Russia because of the fact that they have been fined almost $100 million by a Russian court for breaching the Russian laws.
According to the reports, it is said that Google allegedly went through a “systematic failure to remove banned content” and that it was also found guilty of recurring breaches of the law.
Tagansky District Court has ordered Google to pay a fine of 7.2 Billion rubles (close to $98.4 Million USD) which is an “administrative fine”. This is close to 8% of Google’s annual revenue in Russia which means that it is not an insignificant amount for the company, especially for the Russian market.
Google has told The Verge that it will “study the court documents when they are available and then decide on next steps.” It is worth noting that the court has given Google a 10-day deadline to lodge an appeal against the verdict or it will have to pay the fine.
Google is also not the only company to have received a penalty because Meta has also been fined close to $27 Million for “failure to remove content” from its platform, Facebook. We also know that Russia has stepped up its fight to control what content is available online.
Russian court says that they had demanded multiple times to both Google and Meta to remove content that it says was provoking religious hatred and promoting views of “extremist and terrorist organizations” and encouraging dangerous behavior by minors.
Revealing the details, Russia says that from the content they wanted to be removed, “1,043 items (are) still on Facebook and 973 on Instagram, while Google has failed to delete 2,600 such items”. The court, as well as the Russian watchdog Roskomnazdor, have warned both the companies to face a similar penalty if banned content is removed from the platform in the future as well.
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