Russia fines Amazon for first time for banned content

MOSCOW – A court in Moscow announced Tuesday that it has fined Inc. 4 million rubles ($65,000) for failing to remove prohibited content related to drug use and suicide.

Russia fined other foreign tech companies for not removing content. Part of what critics say is a campaign by the Kremlin to limit the influence of Western tech companies, especially since Moscow sent troops to Ukraine.

The Tagansky District Court said it had fined Amazon four million rubles, but did not specify the fine. He also fined Amazon’s streaming service Twitch 8 million rubles for not removing banned content.

Interfax news agency reported that Amazon’s fine related to content related to drug distribution and information on suicide methods.

Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.

Twitch had previously been fined for hosting a video interview with Oleksiy Arrestovich, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which Moscow said contained “fake” information.

On Tuesday, state news agency TASS said one of the two fines of 4 million rubles against Twitch was related to the broadcast of a new interview with Arrestovic conducted by a Russian lawyer designated as a “foreign agent.” reported that

Twitch did not respond to a request for comment, but TASS, citing Twitch’s attorney, said the video in question was removed by the time the court considered the lawsuit.

Meta Platforms Inc. was found guilty of carrying out “extremist activities” and banned from the social networks Facebook and Instagram. Meanwhile, Alphabet’s Google has been fined for a series of alleged violations, and its Russian subsidiary has filed for bankruptcy.

Russia’s telecommunications regulator Roskomnadzor on Tuesday asked Google to restore access to the YouTube account of the Federal Council, the upper house of the Bundestag, according to a report by Russia News Agency.