Reddit Fined in Russia for First Time Over ‘Banned Content’: Report

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Russia on Tuesday fined social media site Reddit for the first time for not deleting “banned content” that it said contained “fake” information about Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, RIA reported on Tuesday, citing a Moscow court.

Reddit joins a list of sites under scrutiny in Russia for failing to remove content that Moscow deems illegal, including Wikimedia, streaming service Twitch, and Google.

RIA said the court had fined Reddit 2 million roubles ($20,365 or roughly Rs. 16 lakh). Reddit did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Also on Tuesday, the court fined the Wikimedia Foundation, which owns Wikipedia, 2 million roubles, for failing to delete “fakes” about what Moscow calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine, Interfax reported.

Since invading Ukraine last year, Russia has tightened controls over coverage of the conflict by media and bloggers, introducing tougher punishments for “discrediting” the actions of its armed forces or publishing false information about them.

Wikimedia has previously said information that Russian authorities complained about was well-sourced and in line with Wikipedia standards.

Wikipedia is one of the few surviving independent sources of information in Russia since a state crackdown on online content intensified after Moscow sent its armed forces into Ukraine.

Russia has said it was not planning to block Wikipedia but has repeatedly fined the online encyclopedia.

Wikimedia has previously criticised the penalties as “part of an ongoing effort by the Russian government to limit the spread of reliable, well-sourced information in the country”. 

© Thomson Reuters 2023   


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