Russia fines Facebook, Twitter for not deleting banned content

The Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile phone in this picture illustration taken December 2, 2019. Reuters
A Russian court on Tuesday said it had fined US social media giants Facebook and Twitter for failing to delete content that Moscow deems illegal, part of a wider crackdown on the internet and Big Tech.

Moscow wants foreign internet firms to open full-fledged offices in Russia and to store Russians' personal data on its territory. On Tuesday the government published plans to impose new taxes on foreign-owned digital services as part of a push to support its domestic tech sector.

The Tagansky district court said Facebook had been handed five fines totalling 21 million roubles ($287,850). Twitter received two fines of a total 5 million roubles, it said.

Popular messaging app Telegram had been fined 9 million roubles, the court said.

Facebook, Twitter and Telegram did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Twitter has been the subject of a punitive slowdown since March. State communications regulator Roskomnadzor has said Twitter and other social media firms have not deleted posts with banned material quickly enough.