Russia fines Google millions of dollars for not deleting 7,000 YouTube videos
The war between Russia and Ukraine is taking place on numerous terrains, rather than on the traditional battlefield. From Russia they try to totally control the information available online and for that they issued a law that allows the Russian state to sanction and even arrest anyone who spreads information contrary to the Kremlin’s views on the invasion of Ukraine.
This, in addition, also serves to get as much money as possible to counteract the cutting off of trade with third countries as a result of the economic sanctions imposed by Western countries.
One of the steps it has taken has been to fine Google itself for disseminating information on the conflict that they consider unreliable.
This sanction comes from the Russian telecommunications watchdog, Roskomnadzor. Specifically, the amount of this reaches 68 million rubles (1.2 million dollars) for allegedly disseminating unreliable information through YouTube.
It is a reality that having a YouTube channel allows anyone to upload a video of something they are watching conveniently and without too much hassle. This makes it possible to make public the reality that is being lived in Russia with this war, but for the government it is inaccurate or unpatriotic information, which with the new law in hand, become illegal.
According to the regulatory body, right now on YouTube you can find more than 7,000 videos that are considered criminal. This is because they feature views that do not coincide with the official view of the invasion of Ukraine, which is already known that for the Kremlin it is no war but a Special Military Operation to denazify Ukrainians.
The problem is that in the long run this sanction can go further. Specifically, the agency can seize up to 10% of Google’s annual turnover in Russia for not restricting access to these contents. The question is that the company of the big G seems that it will not end up backing down as already happened in 2021, where Russia confiscated 133 million dollars from Google accounts by not removing banned content in this country. In fact, because of these sanctions and the blocking of its bank accounts, right now the Russian subsidiary of Google is directly bankrupt, so it will be difficult to effectively collect the fines.
Given this decision, all alarms have been raised regarding the validity of Google’s services. Many people might think that Google will leave Russia, but the truth is that the company will continue to maintain all free services in an accessible way. Google News is the only one that is not available due to the Russian law that makes it illegal to knowingly disseminate false news.
Another thing will be that from the Kremlin tolerate that someone takes them contrary and end up setting up a censorship system similar to the Great Firewall of China.