| 24 April 2024, Wednesday |

Russian court fines TikTok over failure to delete content: reports

A Moscow court has fined social media app TikTok 2.6 million roubles ($34,000) over failure to delete content that the court said was related unsanctioned rallies, Russian news agencies said on Tuesday.

The case follows series of other steps taken by Moscow recently to pressure western internet companies, having punitively slowed down Twitter while also suing Facebook and Google.

Moscow announced on Monday it would extend a punitive slowdown of Twitter until May 15 though it acknowledged the U.S. social media company had accelerated deletion of banned content.

Russia has traditionally taken a more hands-off role in policing the internet than neighboring China. But as friction has grown this year over the arrest and jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, it has signaled a tougher line.

Moscow has since March impeded the speed of Twitter for not removing content it considers to be illegal, and threatened to block it entirely. Photos and videos take longer to load for some users.

However, in a statement on Monday, state communications watchdog Roskomnadzor said Twitter had held talks with Russian authorities on April 1, resulting in an agreement to give it more time and a recognition that banned content was being deleted quicker.

Twitter confirmed the talks with Russia.

“It was a productive discussion about how we can both work to ensure that reports of such illegal content are dealt with expeditiously,” it said in a statement.

Roskomnadzor said that on average, Twitter was removing illegal content within 81 hours of receiving a request. That is still much longer than the 24 hours demanded in law.

  • Reuters