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Russia Fines Social-Media Giants Again For Failing To Delete Banned Content

A court in Moscow has ordered Facebook, Twitter, and Telegram to pay more fines for failing to delete content banned by Russian law amid a government campaign to gain more control over the Internet.

A magistrate court in Moscow's Taganka district on September 14 fined Facebook 21 million rubles ($288,000), Telegram 9 million rubles ($123,400), and Twitter 5 million rubles ($68,500) for failing to abide by requests to delete the content as requested by Russian Internet regulator Roskomnadzor.

In recent months, Moscow courts have fined Google, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Telegram, and TikTok over content, as well as for refusing to localize the personal data of its users in Russia.

The total fines Moscow courts have ordered Facebook to pay since January now surpass 90 million rubles ($1.23 million), while the total amount of fines Telegram and Twitter are obliged to pay are 40 million rubles ($550,000) and 60 million rubles ($822,700), respectively.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused social-media and other tech giants of flouting the country's Internet laws, including a push seeking to force foreign firms to open offices in Russia.

Many critics say the push has nothing to do with "Internet integrity" and instead accuse the authorities of trying to quell dissent with parliamentary elections looming on September 19 and the ruling United Party's popularity slumping.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax