SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 5 December 2021, Sunday |

Russian court sends bailiffs to enforce collection of more unpaid Facebook fines

On Thursday, a Moscow court announced it had dispatched state bailiffs to collect 17 million roubles ($238,845) in fines imposed on Facebook for failing to delete content that Russia considers illegal.

The order was issued by Moscow’s Tagansky District Court in response to Facebook’s failure to pay four fines, the court said in a statement. This is the court’s second request for bailiffs’ assistance in bringing Facebook to heel this month.

According to the court, Facebook had requested extra time before the order was enforced on Thursday, claiming technical issues. Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

State communications regulator Roskomnadzor says fines totaling around 70 million roubles have been imposed on Facebook this year, but that the company has not paid any, highlighting the challenges Moscow faces in cracking down on foreign tech giants.

Roskomnadzor is now seeking to impose a much bigger fine on Facebook that would total 5-10% of the company’s annual turnover in Russia due to what it says are repeated legal violations.

On Tuesday, Roskomnadzor said it would seek to fine Google a similar percentage of its annual Russian turnover for the same content violations.