Google was fined $98 million by a Russian court for failing to delete content that was considered unlawful in the nation. According to Reuters, the 7.2 billion Russian rubles fine represents about 8% of Google’s sales in Russia and comes in the wake of a larger movement in Russia to establish more authority over major tech companies and the information individuals post on their platforms.
Google said it will examine the court records when they are released and afterward deliberate on further steps. Even so, according to Bloomberg, a Russian official has threatened quite unfortunate initiatives if Google does not cooperate with the country’s requirement to remove banned content, which contains drug advancement and posts by groups the government has declared extremist or terroristic, such as those linked to opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
It’s not the first time Google has been fined in Russia for its content control. It faces a new one that may double in size every week until it lifts a restriction on a nationalist Russian news program, despite Google’s claim that the prohibition is related to US and UK restrictions against the channel’s owner. Organizations like Twitter and Meta have also seen service bottlenecks and penalties as a result of their lack of adherence to Russian regulators’ rules.
Non-financial pressure has also been used by Russian regulators to get tech businesses to conform. The country approved a rule in 2019 requiring cellphones, computers, and televisions to be pre-loaded with software from Russian programmers, which went into force earlier this year. Companies that have websites with more than 500,000 daily visits from Russia will be required to build offices in the nation. Russian authorities have reportedly threatened to prosecute local employees of Google and Apple if they do not remove their opposition’ voting apps from their app stores.