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Russia fines Google $387m for showing the war-torn reality of Ukraine

A Moscow court has fined Google over 21 billion rubles (over $387 million) for repeatedly failing to remove "illegal" content from YouTube.

Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor said that Google-controlled YouTube didn't limit access to content prohibited in Russia, including what the Kremlin calls fakes about the "special military operation" in Ukraine.

Roskomnadzor said that YouTube permitted content discrediting Russian military forces, promoting extremism and terrorism, calling for minors to participate in unauthorized protests, and videos promoting an "indifferent" attitude to the life and death of children.

For repeatedly failing to delete the prohibited content, Google was fined over 21 billion rubles.

YouTube keeps deleting war-related content. Only it's primarily Russian propaganda channels, calling the war in Ukraine "special operation" and spreading other fakes.

Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, said the company had to take some "really tough decisions."

"We also extended our policies with regard to how we handle verified violent events, an event that denies something like the Holocaust would be against the YouTube policies. What we saw, if there were denial or trivialization associated with the war in Ukraine, that would also be a violation," Wojcicki said.

Since late February, Youtube has removed 9,000 channels and 70,000 videos related to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

For example, in May, Google terminated 20 YouTube channels as part of its investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to Russia.

"The campaign was linked to a Russian consulting firm and was sharing content in Russian that was supportive of Russia's actions in Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin and critical of NATO, Ukraine, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy," Google said in its latest blog post.

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