Russia escalates tech battle, levies more fines on Twitter, Facebook, Telegram

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Russia has continued its tech battle with Twitter, Facebook and Telegram by imposing more fines on the companies on Thursday. 

All the companies received fines from Moscow’s Tagansky District Court for failing to remove illegal content, Reuters reported.

Facebook received a fine of $81,320 for two offenses involving failure to delete information the government has banned. 

Twitter was fined $74,409.80 for two offenses of failing to delete content. Telegram faced three of the same offenses and was fined $108,251.

This is not the first time in 2021 Russia has fined the tech giants. 

Twitter was fined in April about $117,000 for failing to take down restricted content. 

Facebook and Telegram were fined in June for not taking content deemed unlawful by the Russian government. Telegram was fined $139,000 while Facebook was fined $236,000.

The crackdown on social media platforms comes as the Russian government is also going after its political opponents ahead of the  September parliamentary elections.

Russia previously slowed Twitter down in the country and began going after the platforms as they were used to organize protests for opposition leader Alexey Navalny. 

Twitter told The Hill they have no comment on the matter.

The Hill has reached out to Facebook and Telegram for comment.

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