Russian Court Fines TikTok For Violating Anti-LGBT Laws, Twitch For Ukraine Content

Russia on Tuesday fined social media platforms TikTok and Twitch for violating the country’s laws on “LGBT propaganda” and censorship of information related to the war in Ukraine, according to a report from Reuters.

TikTok, owned by Beijing-based IT company ByteDance, was fined 3 million roubles ($51,000) by Moscow’s Tagansky District Court for “promoting non-traditional values, LGBT, feminism and a distorted representation of traditional sexual values” on its platform, according to Russian news outlet Interfax.

Russia passed a “gay propaganda” law in 2013, restricting any person or entity from promoting homosexual relationships to children. The country has recently floated the idea of expanding the current law to increase fines and include the promotion of LGBTQ rights to adults.

TikTok has yet to comment on the matter. A report from Russian news outlet Interfax says that a representative from the company who was present in the courtroom had insisted that the proceedings be terminated. No other details were provided.

Twitch, on the other hand, has been fined for the second time for interviewing Oleksiy Arestovych, who’s an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The Amazon-owned company was ordered to pay 4 million roubles ($68,000). It was fined 3 million roubles ($51,000) for a separate interview with Arestovych earlier this year.

After Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, the government passed a law that prohibits the “discrediting” of the armed forces and spreading of information about the war in Ukraine, rendering any mention of “war” as false information. 

A report from the Russian news agency TASS says that the streaming portal is facing two additional fines of up to 8 million roubles for refusing to remove “false data about a special military operation in Ukraine.” The data in question is a new interview with Arestovych and a video with a speech by a Ukrainian military expert.

The fines are the latest in Russia’s attempt to get Big Tech in line with its increasingly sensitive censorship laws. In July, Russia also fined Google about $365 million for refusing to delete YouTube videos about Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. 

Information for this briefing was found via Reuters, Interfax, TASS, and the companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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