Russia punishes Wikimedia for violating the law by distributing prohibited content during the Ukraine conflict

Russia punishes Wikimedia for violating the law by distributing prohibited content during the Ukrain ...

The Russian Communications Watchdog has announced that it would take steps to punish the Wikimedia Foundation, which hosts the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, for ignoring Russian regulations in the Ukraine conflict. In a statement, Roskomnadzor said that Wikipedia still contains prohibited materials, including fakes about the course of the special military operation on the territory of Ukraine, and that search engines would be used to notify users that Wikimedia violated Russian laws.

Shortly after the Kremlin ordered tens of thousands of troops to be deployed to Ukraine on February 24, Russia promulgated broad new laws governing information sharing about the conflict in Ukraine.

Google has been fined RUB 21 billion (nearly Rs. 2,900 crore) by a Moscow court for failing to remove information related to Russia's military intervention in Ukraine.

YouTube, owned by Google, had failed to dispel misleading information about Ukraine's offensive, extremist and terrorist rhetoric, and content encouraging minors to take part in unauthorised demonstrations, according to Roskomnadzor.

The regulator ruled that since this was a second conviction for Google, the fine was based on its annual income in Russia.

In recent years, Russian authorities have increased their pressure on Western social media companies with repeated fines and threats in a bid to remove criticism from the internet, one of Russia's last bastions of free speech.

Google has recently quit the Russian market to protest Russia's military intervention in Ukraine, like most of its Western competitors.

The largest ever imposed on a Western tech company by a Russian court, according to Vladimir Zykov, an expert quoted by Russian news agency Ria-Novosti.

Russian authorities may impose as many fines as they wish on Google, but they will not receive the money until the firm has withdrawn from the country, according to the report.

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