Roskomnadzor, Russia’s communications regulator, fined Google $370 million for deliberately disseminating false information about its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
According to Reuters(Opens in a new window), Roskomnadzor claims Google has repeatedly failed to remove content deemed illegal in Russia. “The video hosting site YouTube intentionally promotes the dissemination of misleading information about the progress of the special military operation in Ukraine, discrediting the Russian Federation’s armed forces,” Roskomnadzor stated.
Even if Google decided to pay the fine, the company would be unable to transfer the funds. Most forms of monetary transfer to Russia are currently prohibited, and the Russian government has already seized Google’s bank account, making it impossible to pay employees in the country, let alone consider paying a fine. Because the situation was so dire, Google decided to declare bankruptcy.
This isn’t the first time Google has been hit with a large fine for allowing Russian-related content to be distributed. It was fined $110 million(Opens in a new window) in December of last year for failing to remove what Russia deemed illegal content. A further $170,000 fine was levied in April of this year for allegedly disseminating false information about Russia’s troop losses in Ukraine.
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Russia is not targeting Google with fines for illegal activity. Twitch, Pinterest, Airbnb, and UPS were all fined last month for refusing to store Russian users’ personal data within the country. Previously, in May, Apple and Likeme were added to the list of companies fined for failing to comply with Russian legislation.