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Moscow court fines Telegram for refusing to remove posts about pro-Navalny protests

Source: Interfax

A Moscow magistrate’s court has fined the message platform Telegram 5 million rubles (about $67,000), reports the newswire Interfax, citing the court’s press service.

The court fined Telegram for refusing to delete messages calling for unauthorized opposition protests in late January. Telegram was found guilty of two administrative offenses and fined 2.5 million rubles (about $33,500) for each violation.

In March, Russia’s federal censorship agency (Roskomnadzor), filed administrative protocols against several social networks, including Telegram, for the “non-deletion or untimely deletion of information that involved minors in unauthorized mass events.” The agency was referring to the protests in support of jailed opposition politician Alexey Navalny, which took place on January 23 and 31.

Spokespeople for Telegram have yet to comment on the court ruling.

Earlier, Russian courts fined multiple social media platforms, including VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, TikTok, and Twitter, for failing to remove information about unauthorized protest rallies. On May 12, a Moscow court fined VKontakte 1.5 million rubles ($20,115), increasing the total sum of fines imposed on the social network to three million rubles ($40,230).

In early May, Roskomnadzor filed for new court proceedings against Twitter, Google, and Facebook for failing to remove content prohibited in Russia. Twitter may face another 24 million rubles (more than $321,000) in fines, while Google and Facebook may face an additional 20 million rubles (more than $268,000) in penalties.

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