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Court fines TikTok $34,000 for refusing to remove posts on illegal protests in Moscow

The reason for the administrative protocol was a publication on TikTok as of January 24, 2021, according to the court

MOSCOW, April 6. /TASS/. The Tagansky district magistrate’s court of Moscow has fined TikTok 2.6 mln rubles ($34,022) because the social network refused to delete information encouraging teenagers to join an unsanctioned walkout in Moscow, a spokesperson with the Tagansky court's press service told TASS on Tuesday.

"Moscow’s magistrate court department No. 422 has found TikTok guilty under part 2 article 13.41 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation (violating the procedure for restricting access to information, access to which is subject to restriction under the legislation of the Russian Federation) and imposed a fine totaling 2.6 mln rubles," the court stated adding that "the reason for the administrative protocol was a publication on TikTok dated January 24, 2021."

On Tuesday, the court was supposed to consider two protocols against Telegram under the same article and for a similar offense, but the meeting was postponed to April 12.

Earlier, three protocols were drawn up against Twitter, Facebook and Google under the same article. The court will consider cases on the administrative offenses of the last two IT giants on May 4. The court decided to give them some extra time to familiarize themselves with the case files.

Twitter was found guilty on three counts of Part 2 of Art. 13.41. of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation and fined 8.9 mln rubles ($116,466).

Earlier, the press service of Russia’s media watchdog (the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media) said that more than 2,500 files were found on social networks encouraging participation in unauthorized, illegitimate events in January and February. This violation stipulates a fine for legal entities from 800,000 to 4 million rubles ($10,469-52,344). In the event of a repeated offense, the fine will be increased to one tenth of the aggregate amount of the annual proceeds. That said, according to Evgeny Zaitsev, head of the watchdog’s department for control and supervision of electronic communications, TikTok is more active than other foreign social networks in removing posts urging minors to participate in illegal events. Nevertheless, the regulator has claims against this social network as well.