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Russia fines Twitch for not censoring “misinformation” about Ukraine invasion

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On Tuesday, Amazon-owned streaming service Twitch received another fine from Russian authorities.

According to Reuters, a Russian court fined Twitch 3 million roubles (approximately $49,000) for refusing to remove a two-hour livestream featuring Ukrainian Presidential Aide Alexey Arestovich.

Russian authorities claimed that the video contained misinformation about its ongoing “special military operation” in the Donbas region in Ukraine.

It was the second fine the streaming service has received in less than a month. Earlier this month, Twitch was fined 2 million roubles for hosting a 31-second video that authorities deemed as “false” information. The short video highlighted Russia’s war crimes committed in Bucha, a town in Ukraine.

In June, Twitch was fined for failing to store the data of Russian users within Russia’s borders.

Since its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has ramped up its crackdown on media and social media. It passed a law criminalizing the spread of fake news about what it calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine. Violation of the law carries a 15-year prison sentence.

Since the war began, Russia has expedited infractions and fines against online platforms based in the US. TikTok was recently fined 2 million roubles for refusing to remove videos containing “LGBT propaganda.” In June, Google was fined 21 billion roubles (approximately $364 million) for refusing to removed YouTube videos containing “extremism and terrorism.”

The country has also banned or restricted some platforms. A few weeks into the war, it banned Facebook and Instagram and designated Meta as an “extremist organization,” putting it in the same category as the Taliban and ISIS.

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