On Thursday, A Moscow court fined microblogging platform Twitter the sum of 3 million roubles, the equivalent of $40,920 for refusal to delete content from its platform which is illegal in Russia.
The court fine is the latest in quite a long list of penalties against foreign technology companies like Twitter. Since March, Russia has, since March this year, slowed down the speed of Twitter as a punitive measure for posts containing child pornography, drug abuse information or calls for minors to commit suicide.
This year, Russia has been on its toes putting pressure on big foreign tech companies. According to sceptics, Russian authorities are only trying to exert tighter control over the internet, which is a threat to individual and corporate existence or freedom.
The fine comes on the heels of Jack Dorsey stepping down from his position as CEO of Twitter. Jack Dorsey’s replacement Parag Agrawal, who has been described by the former CEO as trusted and efficient hands. The fine from the Russian court is the first major occurrence since he assumed the position of CEO of Twitter. Parag Agrawal has served as the social media company’s Chief Technology Officer since 2017. He led projects to make tweets in the timelines of users more relevant and preference focused while leading strategies relating to artificial intelligence and machine learning. Before joining Twitter, he had interned in big names like Yahoo, Microsoft and AT&T.
The Russian court also fined software development company GitHub, which has been acquired by Microsoft, the sum of 1 million roubles for the same offence.
San Francisco-based GitHub did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Twitter has since denied allowing its platform to be used to promote illegal behaviour. The company is yet to respond to calls for comments.