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Russian Court Fines Twitch and TikTok

The complaint against TikTok was based on accusations of, "Promoting non-traditional values, LGBT, feminism, and a distorted image of conventional sexual norms" on its platform

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

RUSSIA: On Tuesday, Russia fined streaming provider Twitch for broadcasting a video interview with a Ukrainian political pointing that Moscow claims contained “false” information, as well as TikTok for failing to remove content that broke Russian rules on “LGBT propaganda.”

A TikTok representative in the courtroom reportedly demanded that the hearings end, according to Interfax, without providing any other information.

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In Moscow’s protracted legal war with Big Tech, which has also included requests for data storage, content-related limitations, and outright bans, the fines are the most recent escalation.

The Tagansky District Court in Moscow said that TikTok, owned by the Beijing-based IT firm ByteDance, has been fined 3 million roubles ($51,000).

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The complaint against TikTok was based on accusations of, “Promoting non-traditional values, LGBT, feminism, and a distorted image of conventional sexual norms” on its platform, according to news outlets.

Amazon’s (AMZN.O) Twitch was fined $68,000, or 4 million roubles, according to the court. As per news reports, the lawsuit was developed in response to Twitch’s interview with Oleksiy Arestovych, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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For hosting yet another Arestovych interview, Twitch was hit with a 3 million rouble fine earlier this year.

Twitch was penalised $23,800 by the court two weeks prior for failing to take down content about the Ukrainian conflict.

THE ‘LGBT PROPAGANDA’ LAW IN RUSSIA

The “gay propaganda” law that was enacted in Russia in 2013 and prohibits any individual or organisation from endorsing homosexual relationships with minors is being contemplated for expansion. As well as increasing sanctions for exposing youngsters to “LGBT propaganda,” lawmakers have suggested that the rule should be expanded to cover adults as well.

Human rights advocates contend that the rule has been liberally applied to frighten Russia’s LGBT community, even though Russian authorities claim to be defending morals against what they see as un-Russian liberal principles promoted by the West.

Separately, the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, will also pay a 4 million rouble punishment for failing to remove “fakes” regarding the Russian army, according to RIA.

The Russian government has stepped up its efforts to impose tighter regulation on the internet and social media.

In response to complaints from Roskomnadzor, a court punished messaging service WhatsApp and ephemeral message app Snapchat for failing to store the data of Russian users on domestic servers.

President Vladimir Putin has accused social media platforms and other foreign IT companies of breaking the country’s Internet laws. He has been promoting tactics to persuade international corporations to open offices in Russia and to maintain consumer data there as well.

Russian sanctions have also been levied against Spotify, a streaming music provider, and Match Group, which owns Tinder, a dating app.

Also Read: Putin’s Use of Nuclear Weapons is Improbable Due to India’s Unacceptability

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