Russian Federation on Tuesday sued five social media platforms for allegedly failing to delete posts urging children to take part in illegal protests. According to Hindustan Times, Twitter, Google, Facebook each have three cases against them, with each violation punishable by a fine of up to 4 million roubles (around $54,000), and cases have also been filed against Tiktok and Telegram.
The cases were opened after protests nationwide over last month’s jailing of Alexei Navalny, a prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin. Navalny and his supporters say his 30-month sentence, for alleged parole violations related to an embezzlement case, was trumped up for political reasons, something the authorities deny.
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According to the publication, the cases against Google, Facebook, and Twitter will be heard on April 2.
In related news, Russia’s state communications watchdog said on Wednesday it was restricting the use of Twitter by slowing down its speed, accusing the social media platform of repeatedly failing to remove banned content from its website.
Roskomnadzor threatened to block the service completely and said there were more than 3,000 posts containing illegal content on it as of Wednesday.
Twitter, like other U.S. social media, is used widely inside Russia by allies of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny whose jailing last month prompted nationwide protests.
“The slowing down will be applied on a 100% of mobile device and on 50% of non-mobile devices,” the regulator said in a statement on its website.
“If (Twitter) continues to ignore the requirements of the law, the enforcement measures will be continued in line with the response regulations (all the way to blocking),” it said.
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