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Wednesday Apr 07 2021
By
Web Desk

TikTok slapped with fine of more than $30,000 over posts urging minors to join protests

By
Web Desk
Unsplash/Nik/via Geo.tv

  • A court in Russia's capital, Moscow, found TikTok guilty of failing to remove information that violates Russian law.
  • Russia court sentences TikTok to an administrative fine of $30,000.
  • Russia earlier hit Twitter with three fines totalling 8.9 million rubles, or approximately Rs17.67 million for the same violation as TikTok.


MOSCOW: Short-form video-sharing app TikTok has been slapped with a fine of more than $30,000 over posts wherein minors were urged to join unsanctioned protests in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

The Moscow court — which imposed the fine — said on its Telegram channel TikTok was found guilty of failing to remove information that violates Russian law and sentenced to an administrative fine of 2.6 million rubles, or approximately Rs5.2 million.

Also read: Russia to block Twitter in a month unless it deletes banned content

The ruling comes as Russia ramps up pressure on foreign tech platforms, with another Moscow court also hitting Twitter on Friday with three fines totalling 8.9 million rubles, or approximately Rs17.67 million for the same violation as TikTok.

Authorities had in January accused foreign social media platforms — including TikTok and Twitter — of interfering in Russia's domestic affairs by not deleting calls to rallies in support of Navalny late that month and early February.

Russia's media watchdog Roskomnadzor said last month it would draw up protocols demanding the foreign social media platforms be fined for failing to delete the calls after it had warned them to do so.

Read more: Pakistani politicians slam Twitter's inaction over India peddling fake news

Roskomnadzor described the calls to protests as "inciting teenagers" to take part in "illegal activities", or "unauthorised mass events".

Last month, the media watchdog also began throttling the speeds of Twitter's services, accusing it of failing to remove content related to child pornography, drug use and calls for minors to commit suicide.

On Monday, it gave the US tech giant an ultimatum of deleting the posts by mid-May or face a complete blockage in the country.

Related: Russia accuses West of Alexei Navalny hysteria, backs tough protest policing

Moscow regularly fines foreign internet companies like Twitter, Facebook, and Google for failing to comply with its legislation.

TikTok came into the view of the authorities more recently after videos on the platform in January calling for Russians to join rallies in support of Navalny garnered hundreds of thousands of views.

President Vladimir Putin that month complained about the growing influence of large technology companies that he said are competing with states. 

(1 ruble = Rs1.99)