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Google fined €162,000 by Russia for failing to remove banned content

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By Euronews with AFP, DPA
Russia has hit Google with a series of small fines in the past year.
Russia has hit Google with a series of small fines in the past year.   -   Copyright  DENIS CHARLET / AFP
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A Russian court has fined Google €162,000 euros for failing to remove banned content under law.

The Moscow court in Tagansky found Google guilty on five separate occasions of not deleting posts that were deemed illegal by Russian authorities.

A court statement confirmed the US tech company was found guilty of "committing administrative offenses".

Google was fined a total of 14 million roubles (around €162,000 euros). The company has not responded to the fine.

In recent months, Russia has stepped up its action against big tech firms, including Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube.

Moscow has been highly critical of the platforms' moderation of political content and has sought to strengthen its control over the internet.

Social networks have been accused of failing to delete posts that "incited" young people to demonstrate against the imprisonment of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny in January.

Moscow has also cited platforms for censoring pro-Russian voices and not removing content that advocates pornography, drugs, or suicide.

Last month, Google was also fined €34,500 under a 2014 law that requires internet companies to store their Russian users' data in the country.

Facebook has previously been handed fines for failing to remove illegal content, while Twitter has also had its service speeds in Russia throttled.

Government critics have denounced the Russian action against social networks as an attempt to stifle debate and silence dissent.