The social network Twitter continues to be fined by Russian courts for allowing child pornography, addictive drug use, allusions to suicide, extremism, and fake news, all of which are prohibited in its territory.
In this case, the Tagansky District Court of Moscow penalized the technology giant, ordering it to pay a fine of $41,000 for failing to remove banned content, according to the U.S. News Dec. 23.
Meanwhile, the Federal Service for Supervision of Telecommunications, Information Technologies, and Mass Media, Roskomnadzor, reported that Twitter has had its speed reduced since March for failing to comply with content regulations.
One of the restricted topics is the one concerning opposition leader Alexei Navalny. His organization is considered “extremist,” at the same level as the Taliban or the Islamic State group.
Sarkis Darbinian, the legal expert of the free speech lobby group Roskomsvoboda, stated, “Neither Roskomnadzor nor the Kremlin wants to say that there is political censorship in Russia,” BBC reported last week.
Earlier in April, the court had fined Twitter a similar amount for refusing to remove calls for minors to participate in unsanctioned rallies.
Russian legislation closely regulates the content of large social networks, and adding up the successive fines applied this year; they exceed two million dollars.
In addition to Twitter, the software development website GitHub, owned by Microsoft, Meta (Facebook), WhatsApp, TikTok, and Google, has also been fined.
Russia applies the “sovereign internet” policy, designed to make data traffic via the Internet on its territory independent of the rest of the world, but without disconnecting it from the outside. One of its authors is Andrei Lipov, the 42-year-old head of Roskomnadzor.
On the other hand, in addition to Russia, other countries have also found that major technology companies such as Twitter and Facebook infringe on freedom of expression and contribute to the dissemination of harmful content.
One of the most affected countries is the United States, where conservatives denounce constant censorship. One of the most controversial events was the cancellation of the account of the then president, Donald Trump.
In this case, Mexican President Manuel López Obrador said: “I don’t like anybody being censored or taking away from the right to post a message on Twitter or Face[book]. I don’t agree with that, I don’t accept that,” according to the Associated Press.
“How can you censor someone, ‘Let’s see, I, as the judge of the Holy Inquisition, will punish you because I think what you’re saying is harmful,'” the Mexican president continued, adding, “Where is the law, where is the regulation, what are the norms? This is an issue of the government, this is not an issue for private companies.”
Nevertheless, Trump created his own media company, which since its announcement has become a great commercial success, with revenues exceeding billions of dollars, and which augurs the liberation of the information monopoly exercised by the big technological companies.