Russian court orders collection of more than $350K in Facebook fines

A Russian court has ordered Facebook to pay more than $350,000 in fines for not taking down unlawful posts.

The Tagansky District Court in Moscow directed Facebook to pay 26 million rubles, more than $361,000, to bailiffs after Facebook did not pay their fines, according to The Associated Press, citing court officials.

Roskomnadzor, a Russian state communications watchdog, reportedly requested that Russian courts financially penalize Facebook because it did not take down content that was illegal, including posts that endorsed unsanctioned protests against the Kremlin.

So far this year Facebook has been ordered by Roskomnadzor to pay 80 million rubles, the equivalent of $1.1 million, in fines, but it has failed to do so, according to the AP.

The watchdog gave notice that it will levy greater fines, ones that are five to ten percent of the social media company’s Russian sales turnover, because of the illicit content, the AP reported.

Russian authorities have cracked down on Western social media platforms for allowing the spread of dissenting voices and content.

The Hill reached out to Facebook for comment.

Facebook is currently under fire in the U.S. after a whistleblower went public with allegations that the company prioritizes profit over safety.

Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, testified before a full Senate Commerce subcommittee panel on Tuesday, where she encouraged Congress to hold the technology company accountable for what she alleged to be harm inflicted on children, in addition to the giant’s refusal to properly police its content.

Facebook pushed back on Haugen’s testimony, writing in a statement “We don’t agree with her characterization of the many issues she testified about.”

“Today a Senate Commerce subcommittee held a hearing with a former product manager at Facebook who worked for the company for less than two years, had no direct reports, never attended a decision-point meeting with C-level executives and testified more than six times to not working on the subject matter in question,” the company said.

“Despite all this, we agree on one thing; it’s time to begin to create standard rules for the internet. It’s been 25 years since the rules for the internet have been updated, and instead of expecting the industry to make societal decisions that belong to legislators, it is time for Congress to act,” the company added.



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