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28 Jan, 2021 13:03

Russia to fine TikTok & other social networks for failing to remove posts allegedly promoting unauthorized protests to kids

Russia to fine TikTok & other social networks for failing to remove posts allegedly promoting unauthorized protests to kids

The Russian state regulator, Roskomnadzor, has announced that seven social networks will be fined for failing to comply with demands to delete calls to protest, after supporters of Alexey Navalny advertised demonstrations online.

American tech giants Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, along with Chinese video-sharing app TikTok and Russian sites VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, will each be forced to pay between 800,000 and four million rubles ($10,500 and $52,000).

Last week, prior to Saturday’s demonstrations in support of the jailed opposition figure, Roskomnadzor revealed its concern that social media was being used to encourage minors to participate in unsanctioned protests. In particular, the regulator pointed the finger at the video-sharing app TikTok. In a press release, Roskomnadzor announced that a total of 170 illegal calls for protest were not removed from the internet “in a timely manner.”

Also on rt.com Moscow kids arrested for attending Navalny protest will see their participation noted in school records, says education department

“Social networks Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, and video-host YouTube will be fined for failure to comply with the requirements to prevent the spread of calls to minors to participate in unsanctioned rallies on January 23,” the statement said.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that around 300 children were arrested at protests throughout the country, the youngest being just nine years old.

“In Moscow, about 70 [were arrested and], in St. Petersburg, about 30,” Children’s Ombudsman Anna Kuznetsova wrote on Facebook on Saturday evening. “The children were detained until their parents arrived. The police tried to get the little ones out of the crowd as quickly as possible to save them from tragedy, which fortunately did not happen.”

On Tuesday, the Speaker of Russia’s parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin, told Radio Komsomolskaya Pravda that “children cannot be used [by politicians] in a civilized society.”

“Why attract children to such events by agitating them on social media, showing them videos?” he asked. “[We] are against that. Leave the children alone. Let children have their childhood.”

On January 23, more than 100 cities in Russia saw supporters of jailed opposition figure Navalny take to the streets, with thousands protesting against his detainment. Navalny was remanded in custody on January 18 after arriving back in Russia from Germany. He is accused of violating the terms of a three-and-a-half-year suspended sentence he received in 2014, when he was found guilty of embezzling 30 million rubles ($400,000) from two companies, including the French cosmetics brand Yves Rocher.

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