Russia fines Google for not removing illegal content

A Russian court has imposed a fine of about 24,212 euros on Alphabet, the parent company of Google. According to Russia, Google has long refused to remove illegal content from search results and from YouTube.

Google has confirmed the fine, but did not comment further, Reuters reports. There are two other cases against Google in Moscow, but they are said to have been postponed to November 29. Reuters writes that the court wants to give Google more time to study the procedural documents.

This fine is part of a longer feud between Google and Russia. Last month, the Russian communications watchdog threatened to fine it between 5 and 20 percent of Google’s revenue in the country. Then it was partly about the illegal content that Google did not remove, and partly about the unpaid fines from the search giant. At the time, there was reportedly still a fine of around 393,000 euros. According to Reuters, between 5 and 20 percent of Google’s Russian turnover is approximately equal to between 52 and 206 million euros.

A week later, Reuters wrote that Google had paid all the fines and would like to “talk” with Russia. According to a YouTube spokesperson, Google had removed 96.2 percent of all content deemed illegal by Russia, which would be equivalent to 489,000 videos. However, Russia was not satisfied yet, as according to the watchdog there, there were still at least 2500 pieces of illegal content to be found on Google’s services. Russia’s illegal content includes child pornography, the promotion of drug abuse and ‘dangerous activities’ and information about how to make weapons and explosives.