Russia fines Google over alleged “fake news” YouTube videos about Ukraine war

August 17, 2023

A Moscow judge fined internet giant Google 3 million rubles (about $32,000) on Thursday for failing to delete YouTube videos the Kremlin says are fake news regarding Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Google owner Alphabet Inc. reported a net worth of $1663 billion this year.

The Kremlin ordered Google to delete the videos, which it said “instructed viewers on ways of illegally entering guarded facilities” and contained false information about the war, according to Russian state media outlet TASS. 

Google did not immediately respond to a reporter’s request for comment.

The tech giant shut down its Russian business in May 2022, a little more than two months after Russia invaded Ukraine in February of that year. Google said Moscow’s seizure of its bank account made it “untenable” to pay employees or vendors inside Russia. Google-owned YouTube, however, has continued to operate inside Russia.

In recent months, the same magistrate court in Moscow has levied similar fines against Google, citing administrative violations and content it said was “propaganda promoting non-traditional sexual relations.”

The latest move against Google by the Moscow court follows similar actions earlier this month against Apple and the Wikimedia Foundation that hosts Wikipedia.

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