Regulators say Facebook could face heavy fines in Russia over banned content

Moscow — Russian officials warned Thursday that social media giant Facebook will face a fine of up to 10% of its annual domestic sales unless it removes content that Moscow considers illegal.

State communications regulator Roskomnadzor told Reuters that it will intensify its conflict with Big Tech in the United States and will send official notices to Russia’s Facebook representatives that it has repeatedly failed to remove banned information. rice field.

It said it could lead to a fine of 5% or 10% of Facebook’s annual Russian sales unless the situation improves.

Facebook violations include child pornography, substance abuse, and failure to delete posts containing radical content. Vedomosti reports individually daily.

Facebook didn’t comment immediately.

Moscow increased pressure on foreign tech companies last year as part of a long-term push to claim greater sovereignty over the Internet segment, including efforts to force companies to store Russian personal data on their territory. I did.

On Wednesday, Russia, Alphabet Inc., after a video hosting giant removed the German channel of Russia’s national broadcaster RT from the site. Threatened to block YouTube owned by.

Earlier this year, Roskomnadzor called on Facebook and other social media companies to remove posts calling on minors to participate in anti-government protests after Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was arrested.

Vedomosti quoted an expert who estimates Facebook’s annual sales in Russia to be around 12 billion rubles ($ 165 million).

Reuters couldn’t immediately confirm the quote.

Roskomnadzor has filed 17 different administrative litigations against Facebook this year for failing to remove the banned content. According to court documents, 64 million rubles are fined or pending.

Sales fines will diminish what has been collected so far.

“The Facebook administration hasn’t paid a fine,” Vedomosti quoted Rothcomnazol.

($ 1 = 72.5975 rubles)