Despite repeated failures to take down illegal content, Google and Meta were fined heavily by Russia on Friday. Russian law mandated that social media companies to remove content that violates a law of the country passed early 2021.
The fines for Meta and Google were 2 billion rubbles and 7.2 billion rubbles, respectively. According to the new amendments to the Code of the Russian Federation about Administrative Offences, this is the first time a Russian court has imposed a revenue-based fine. According to article 13.41, social media platforms that fail to remove content repeatedly may be obliged to pay a hefty fine ranging from one-twentieth to one-tenth of their overall revenue. Based on the revenue of the year before the offense, the amount is considered. It is possible to impose a minimum fine of 4 million rubbles for this offense.
Recently, the Russian Federation has cracked down on social media regulations. According to Roskomnadzor, the state regulator for communication, 13 foreign tech companies are required to establish "official representations" within Russia by the end of 2021 and open up user feedback accounts on the regulator's website. Apparently, this is a result of a law passed back in July 2021 which requires all foreign companies offering internet services to establish a local presence in Russia. Russia has also mandated that social media entities to store all user data associated with Russian citizens locally.