Russian media reports that TikTok and Meta have been fined over their failure to remove LGBT+ content from their platforms.
Meta was fined four million rubles (approximately $55,000) by Tagansky court in Moscow for alleged breaches of a 2013 piece of legislation banning what the Kremlin defines as “LGBT+ propaganda”. The breaches alleged were in relation to posts on Facebook.
TikTok was also fined two million rubles in a similar case at Moscow’s Mirovoi court. Judges in both cases said that the firms had failed to remove posts that propagated LGBT+ rights.
Such rulings are not uncommon in Russia, but the latest judgements come at a time of heightened tensions between the Kremlin and media outlets.
As well as fighting a war in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin appears to be fighting a propaganda war on the home front, with the military action against his country’s neighbor being matched by an unparalleled campaign of media repression within his nation’s borders.
Multiple independent publishers have closed down or suspended services in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine, which was followed by sweeping laws effectively criminalizing dissent within Russia.
Those found guilty of spreading “false information” about Russian military operation face up to 15 years in prison.
As well as targeting independent journalists Moscow has been going after social media outlets too, with access to platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter heavily restricted.
TikTok has been criticized for being too lenient with its policies on pro-Russia content, but it too has fallen victim of Putin’s wrath and also faced restrictions.