A Moscow court today hit out Google with a large fine for repeatedly failing to delete illegal content, according to Reuters.
The court said Google would have to pay 7.2 billion roubles (€86 million), the first fine based on the U.S. tech giant’s Russian revenue.
The ruling comes as Russia has been ramping up pressure on online platforms, accusing the likes of Google, Twitter, and Facebook of not adequately moderating content including pornographic material, posts about drugs and suicide.
Taking an ever-increasing aggressive stance to control its so-called sovereign Internet, the Russian government has introduced several stringent new laws targeting foreign tech companies.
Critics including Human Rights Watch have said Moscow’s campaign threatens freedom of speech. Russia’s media regulator blocked websites and apps linked to jailed Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny ahead of elections in September.
Russian courts have imposed smaller fines throughout the year in the millions of roubles. Google has already paid over 32 million roubles in fines related to illegal content this year.
Google said it would look into the court ruling before deciding on further steps.
Facebook’s parent company Meta also has a hearing on similar charges later today, according to AFP.