A Moscow court has fined Alphabet’s Google <GOOGL.O> 3 million roubles ($38,600) on Thursday for failing to delete YouTube videos it said promoted “LGBT propaganda” and “false information”
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.
Under the new expanded law, which widens Russia’s interpretation of what qualifies as “LGBT propaganda” and has been heavily criticized by independent human rights groups, 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.
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 LGBT community in St. Petersburg.
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.