Facebook could face hefty fine in Russia


Russia may seek to fine social media giant Facebook up to 10% of its annual turnover in the country for a repeated failure to delete content that Moscow deems illegal, the Vedomosti daily reported on Thursday.

Moscow has increased pressure on foreign tech companies over the last year as part of a long-running push to assert greater sovereignty over its segment of the internet, including efforts to make companies store Russians’ personal data on its territory.

On Wednesday, Russia threatened to block YouTube after the video-hosting giant removed Russian state-backed broadcaster RT’s German-language channels from its site.

State communications regulator Roskomnadzor said Facebook’s repeated violations could see it fined 5% or 10% of its annual Russian turnover, Vedomosti reported.

Roskomnadzor had no immediate comment. Facebook did not immediately respond.

Vedomosti cited experts who estimated Facebook’s annual Russian turnover at around 12 billion roubles ($165 million). Reuters could not immediately verify that estimate.

Roskomnadzor has opened 19 different administrative cases against Facebook this year for failing to delete banned content, Vedomosti said, with 43 million roubles owed in fines and more pending.

“Facebook’s administration has not paid the fines,” Roskomnadzor said.

($1 = 72.5975 roubles)


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