Russian Federation

[RU] Fines amass as social networks violate law

IRIS 2021-10:1/1

Andrei Richter

Center for Media, Data and Society, School of Public Policy, Central European University (Budapest)

On 8 November 2021, Justice of the Peace T.Vakhrameev in Moscow issued two resolutions in relation to violations by social networks of Article 13.41 (paragraph 2) of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation. Under the provisions of the Code, a failure to comply with the requirement of Roskomnadzor (the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media) to block access to information banned in Russia or to remove information recognised as illegal in Russia under the Federal Statute “On Information, Information Technologies and on the Protection of Information”, and to continue to host providers or website owners (including foreign ones) providing such information, shall lead to significant monetary fines.

The fines for legal entities amount to between RUB 800 000 and RUB 4 million. The unlawful information in this case included; “information with calls to extremist activities”; child pornography; drug use; and “unfaithful information and untruthful socially significant information” (see IRIS Extra 2021).

The Justice of the Peace imposed a fine of RUB 4 million (around EUR 48 400) on Telegram Messenger Inc., and RUB 2 million on Google LLC. These rulings open the way for imposing – in case that the violations persist – further fines on these companies that would amount to 10 percent of their annual profit (in Russia).

It would appear that between January and October 2021 the Russian courts have fined Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, Google and TikTok a total of RUB 180 million.


This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.