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Google faces fine in Russia over banned content

Alphabet’s Google faced more heat in Russia as the country’s state communications regulator reportedly accused the technology giant of repeatedly failing to delete banned content, including what it considered misleading information on YouTube.

Google, which outlined an intention to file for bankruptcy in the country in May, was hit with a fine of $143 million late in 2021, which equated to around 8 per cent of its turnover in the country.

Reuters reported regulator Roskomnadzor stated repeat offences meant Google faced a fine of 5 per cent to 10 per cent of its turnover, which would be determined in court.

In particular, the watchdog reportedly pointed to YouTube, which it claimed purposely fostered circulation “of misleading information” regarding Russia’s progress in its war with Ukraine, “discrediting the armed forces of the Russian federation”.

Roskomnadzor further stated Google had permitted content on YouTube about promoting extremist views and calls for children to participate in protests.

When submitting its notice for bankruptcy, Google stated authorities had seized bank accounts, making it untenable for its office to function.

Alphabet suspended the vast majority of its commercial activities in the country due to the Ukraine conflict, in addition to restricting access to certain state media on YouTube.

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