Russia seeks over 24 million roubles in fine from Twitter over ‘banned content’: Report

Russia is seeking an additional 24 million roubles ($321,586) in fines from U.S. tech giant Twitter for failing to remove content banned in Russia, the TASS news agency cited a court as saying on Wednesday.

State communications regulator Roskomnadzor said last week that Twitter was complying with a demand to remove banned content, but taking too long to do so. A punitive slowdown on the service has been extended until May 15.

TASS said six reports concerning Twitter, each carrying a possible fine of up to 4 million roubles over a failure to remove content, had been lodged with a Moscow court under Russia’s Administrative Offences Code.

No date for the hearing has been set, TASS said. Roskomnadzor, Twitter and the court did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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In April, a court issued three separate fines against Twitter, totalling 8.9 million roubles, over accusations it had failed to delete banned content.

Roskomnadzor has said it wants Twitter to delete content that contains child pornography, drug abuse information or calls for minors to commit suicide.

Twitter denies allowing its platform to be used to promote illegal behaviour, says it has a zero-tolerance policy for child sexual exploitation, and prohibits the promotion of suicide or self-harm.

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Russia has in recent months taken steps to exert more control over the operations of foreign social media platforms and tech companies. Russian authorities are suing Google, Facebook and others for allegedly failing to delete posts urging children to take part in illegal protests.

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The cases were opened after protests nationwide over the jailing in February of Alexei Navalny, a prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin.

Separately, Apple was last week fined $12 million for alleged abuse of its dominance in the mobile applications market. ($1 = 74.6300 roubles) (Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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