Russia's state media and internet regulator, the Roskomnadzor office, called on representatives of social networks TikTok, Facebook, VKontakte and the Telegram messenger over calls for demonstrations and warned against the possibility of a fine.
The office said that it sent "letters requesting representatives of the services to appear in order to explain the responsibility of these platforms for failure to remove summons to participate in illegal mass gatherings". Roskomnadzor published a statement on this matter on Friday evening.
The regulator reminded that the violation of the provisions on "restricting access to prohibited information" is punishable by a fine. The law also allows you to block prohibited content if the websites themselves do not comply with the request to remove them.
The highest fine mentioned by Roskomnadzor in the press release is one tenth of the total annual profit.
A few days before the demonstrations in defense of the oppositionist Alexei Navalny, which took place in Russia on January 23, Roskomnadzor demanded from social networks to remove calls for teenagers to participate in these actions. Subsequently, the office found that similar appeals also appeared on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and the YouTube channel.
First, the regulator announced that these services were removing calls for demonstrations as requested. However, he later warned that he would hold them accountable "for involving teenagers in illegal activities" as not all appeals were removed. The websites did not remove 170 such calls and will be fined, the office announced.
Next Sunday, January 31, Navalny's supporters are going to conduct further demonstrations demanding that the opposition be released from custody. They announced these protests in over 60 cities in Russia.
Anna Wróbel (PAP) from Moscow