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After Russia repeatedly accused Google of ignoring Russian profanity laws, it has drastically intensified its longstanding battle with major US-based internet platforms. A Moscow court on Friday imposed an unprecedented fine of nearly $ 100 million on Google for corrupting minors with porn, propaganda and transgenderism.

The content, such as pornographic material, as well as posts reportedly promoting drugs and suicide, is the subject of the dispute and the state media regulator Roskomnadzor has requested its removal.

The Kremlin and the regulator have long accused Google of distributing politically subversive news in order to stir up protests in support of the imprisoned dissident Alexei Navalny.

In addition, the Internet companies based in Silicon Valley are accused by Russia of allowing themselves to be used as the hidden hand of US foreign policy in Russia and of promoting controversial content such as transgenderism among Russian youth.

Showing sexually explicit and perishable material to minors is prohibited under recent law.

The 7.2 billion rubles (or $ 98 million) fine is a record high compared to previous fines imposed on U.S. social media companies. The clear goal of imposing such a heavy fine is to send a powerful message and warning.

When asked how the court came up with this large sum, the Moscow Times notes that the Moscow District Court did so “on the basis of a statutory clause that allows courts to award between 5% and 10% of a company’s turnover according to the state news agency RIA Novosti ”.

So far, Google has said very little and told AFP: “We will study the court documents and then decide on the next steps,” said the Google press office.

Meanwhile, Facebook and Twitter have received symbolic fines for similar allegations of not removing content. “Meta – which has a court hearing on the same allegations later in the day – was also threatened with a revenue-related fine,” writes AFP.

“On Thursday, Twitter was fined three million rubles ($ 40,000) after authorities began curtailing its services in the spring.

As GreatGameIndia previously reported, Facebook and Twitter’s recommendation algorithms fueled social strife in Russia and have been warned by Russian authorities that they could be disabled under the new law.

However, it is highly unlikely and almost impossible that the Kremlin state authorities would ever go so far as to block these platforms because they are so popular with the Russian public that there could be massive backlashes.

Recently, a secret blacklist of “dangerous people and organizations” was published by Facebook containing over 4,000 entries. These include organizations that have been sanctioned by the US as terrorists, historical villains, cartels, militias and dissidents.

The US government is secretly asking Google to provide data on anyone who enters certain search terms, according to a randomly released court document. It is feared that such “keyword warrants” could involve innocent internet users in serious crimes and occur more frequently than previously thought.

Meanwhile, an independent website called FactCheck.org is being funded by the same $ 1.9 billion vaccine lobby group that is supposed to review it.

The website is a partner of Facebook, whose articles are used to censor critical voices on the social media platform. It is headed by the former CDC director, which in turn creates a conflict of interest.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has stated that Facebook has attacked the sovereign nation of Australia and that his government will not be intimidated by Facebook threats.

Other nations from around the world have joined in to spark a global war on the threats posed by big tech.



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