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18 Oct, 2022 13:55

Russia fines Twitch for ‘fake news’

The streaming platform promoted “inaccurate information” about Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine, a court has ruled
Russia fines Twitch for ‘fake news’

A Russian court has fined Twitch a total of eight million rubles ($130,000) after the US-based live streaming giant failed to delete materials containing what it said were falsehoods related to the Ukraine conflict, local media reported on Tuesday.

According to RIA Novosti, the Tagansky Magistrate’s Court in Moscow hit the online platform, a subsidiary of tech company Amazon, with two fines, each equivalent to four million rubles, in two separate cases.

The first was for disseminating “misleading information about nuclear war, mobilization, and the special military operation in Ukraine.” According to the court, all the claims were made during a stream that featured a prominent Ukrainian journalist Dmitry Gordon.

Meanwhile, the second fine was imposed on Twitch due to its failure to delete footage with a Ukrainian military expert and an interview with Alexey Arestovich, a top aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, who it said was spreading falsehoods about the Russian army.

This is not the first time Russia’s judiciary has imposed fines on Twitch for failing to delete information about Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine. Three previous penalties amounted to four, three and two million rubles, respectively.

In recent months, the Russian authorities have imposed various restrictions and fines on a number of Western platforms for not complying with local legislation. These measures have included bans on Facebook and Instagram, which allowed online hate speech against Russian nationals, and a fine on American search giant Google for its failure to delete prohibited information about the Ukraine conflict.

In early March, Russia adopted a law that allows substantial fines to be imposed on persons and entities for discrediting the Russian army or calling for sanctions against the country. If an offense leads to “grave consequences,” the perpetrator may face a prison sentence of up to 15 years.