MOSCOW – Russian authorities on Thursday warned social media giant Facebook that the country could face fines of up to 10 percent of its annual transactions if it does not delete content it deems illegal.
Roscommonadzor, the state communications regulator, told Reuters that it was planning to send an official notice to Facebook’s representatives in Russia, which has repeatedly failed to remove the banned information.
It said it could impose a fine of 5 percent or 10 percent of Facebook’s annual Russian turnover unless the situation is remedied.
Violations of Facebook include the removal of posts containing child pornography, drug abuse and extremist content, Bedomosti Daily reported separately.
There were no immediate comments from Facebook.
Moscow has stepped up pressure on foreign technology companies over the past year to establish greater sovereignty over the Internet segment, in which companies store Russian personal data on its territory.
On Wednesday, Russia threatened to block YouTube, owned by Alphabet Inc., after the video-hosting giant removed the German-language channels of Russian state-backed broadcaster RT from its site.
Earlier this year, Rosecomnadzor wrote letters to Facebook and other social media organizations demanding the removal of posts calling on minors to take part in anti-government protests following the arrest of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
Bedomosti cited experts who estimated Facebook’s annual Russian business at about 12 billion rubles ($ 165 million).
Reuters could not immediately verify that estimate.
Failure to remove the banned content has led to the filing of 1k different administrative cases against Facebook this year, court documents show, with a fine of millions of rubles or pending.
A turnover penalty would dwarf those who have been imposed so far.
“The Facebook administration did not pay the fine,” Bedomosti said, quoting Rescommonadzor.
(1 = 72.5975 rubles)
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times