A Russian court fined Alphabet’s Google 3 million roubles for failing to delete YouTube videos it said promoted “LGBT propaganda” and false information about Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine. Over the last year, Moscow has levied dozens of fines against Western tech companies as part of a drive to ramp up control over what Russian internet users see online.
Russian prosecutors said Google had refused to remove several videos posted on YouTube, including one from a blogger deemed a foreign agent by Moscow about how same-sex couples raise children and about the LGBTQ+ community in St. Petersburg. The Russian subsidiary of Alphabet’s Google filed for bankruptcy last year after authorities seized its bank accounts following a December 2021 fine of 7.2 billion roubles ($92.6 million) over what Russian authorities said was the company’s repeated failure to delete content.
Apart from passing strict censorship laws shortly after it dispatched troops to Ukraine, Russia has also strengthened its laws against what it calls the “promotion of LGBT propaganda”.
Under the new law, any action or the spreading of any information that is considered an attempt to promote homosexuality in public, online, or in films, books, or advertising, could incur a heavy fine.