Russia Slams Google With N40.6bn Fine Over Banned Content as it Steps up Pressure on US Tech Firms

Russia Slams Google With N40.6bn Fine Over Banned Content as it Steps up Pressure on US Tech Firms

  • Russia has slammed search engine giant, Google with a hefty fine of more than N40 billion for violating its laws
  • The Vladimir Putin-led country has stepped up pressure on US-owned tech firms in the guise of sanitizing the internet
  • Facebook, Twitter and other tech firms are currently battling to stop Kremlin from inflicting more fines on them

A court in Moscow slammed Google with a N40.6 billion for not removing an unspecified content from its platform as it steps up pressure on foreign tech companies.

Target US firms?

Kremlin has continued to mount fines on big tech platforms, especially from the US for not censoring their content. It is accusing them of improper content and interfering with the country’s affairs.

Google CEO, Sunda Pichai and Russia President, Vladimir Putin
Google CEO, Sunda Pichai and Russia President, Vladimir Putin
Source: UGC

So far, penalties on Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Twitter and Google have extended into millions of dollars.

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Others have had fare share

On Friday, December 24, a court in Moscow fined Google N40,670 million and N39,990 billion, according to the court’s press service released on Telegram, for continuously failing to remove illegal content.

It was not clear what the illegal content is but the country takes legal action regularly for not taking down content it considers illegal, such as posts that contain drugs and suicide.

Google said:

“We’ll study the court documents and then decide on the next steps.”

Interfax news agency stated that the huge fine was estimated as a portion of Google’s annual revenues and was the ultimate penalty for a repeated violation.

Facebook's day reckoning

Meta, which has a hearing in court later on Friday, December 24, 2021, on the same charges, has also been intimidated with a revenue-based fine.

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On Thursday, December 23, 2021, Twitter was handed its latest fine of three million rubles (N16 million).

In the past few years, the Russian government has used the pretext of protecting minors and fighting extremism to control the Russian part of the web and began developing a so-called sovereign internet.

Young Nigerians get exposure by Google reported that Google has started an initiative called, Google for Small Businesses, to help Nigerian and other African enterprises grow within a competitive business environment.

To access the benefit of the Google for Small Businesses initiative, entrepreneurs need to register their company name and website on the portal, as well as answer few questions about their business and goals.

This is coming at a period African economy is still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic which has cut revenue of SMEs and corporate organisations.


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