Russia fines Twitter for failing to remove banned content, court says

The Twitter logo and a Russian flag are displayed in this illustrative photo taken on March 10, 2021. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration / File Photo

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MOSCOW, Dec.23 (Reuters) – A Moscow court on Thursday announced that it had fined Twitter (TWTR.N) 3 million rubles ($ 40,920) for failing to remove content that Russia considers illegal, the latest in a series of sanctions against foreign tech companies.

Moscow has stepped up pressure on Big Tech this year in a campaign that critics call an attempt by Russian authorities to exercise tighter control over the internet, which they say threatens to stifle the freedom of individuals and businesses.

Twitter has denied allowing the use of its platform to promote illegal behavior. Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Moscow’s Tagansky District Court said Twitter was fined 3 million rubles for failing to remove banned content.

The court later said that software development website GitHub, which Microsoft (MSFT.O) had purchased, had been fined 1 million rubles for the same offense.

San Francisco-based GitHub did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

($ 1 = 73.3175 rubles)

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Reporting by Anton Kolodyazhnyy and Alexander Marrow; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Jane Merriman

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