Promoting “extremism and terrorism” is severely punished in Russia, and even the world’s largest corporations are no exception. The Kremlin has just announced a record fine against Google. The reason ? Online video platform YouTube reportedly took too long to remove videos deemed “banned” by the Russian government.
Russia wants to charge Google 360 million euros
If the videos in question are not known, Google will therefore have to pay a fine of more than 360 million euros. A nice sum that could even call into question the prescience of the American giant on Russian soil. Last May, the web giant announced its decision to close its Russian operations, unable to withstand fines and other bans.
Because this is not the first time that the Kremlin has imposed changes of this size on Google. The internet giant had already received a fine of more than 100 million euros a few months ago for a very similar reason. But since the start of the war in Ukraine, things have changed.
Google has indeed provided support to the inhabitants attacked. Beyond this symbolic position price, Google has demonetized all pro-Russian or Kremlin-funded YouTube channels. A decision that certainly did not please the main interested party who finds, in this fine, the means to launch a showdown against Google.
An identical situation in France? Impossible mission
While the situation is extreme in Russia, hard to imagine such a thing picked elsewhere in the world. In France, as in many countries, digital giants like Google are obliged to moderate the content posted on their sites. They must remove anything that closely or remotely resembles racism, homophobia or an appeal to hatred.
If this law allows, on paper, to sanction Google with a fine if moderation is not done. It is very difficult to imagine a government directly attacking an issue like this. Because the head of state must enforce a law prohibiting criticism of power, which is nevertheless the basis of our current system, and one of the most fundamental freedoms of the people.