According to a report on Tuesday, citing a Moscow court, Russia fined for the first-ever social media website Reddit for failing to delete “banned content” that it said contained “fake” information about Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine.
Reddit has been added to the list of websites that are being investigated in Russia for failing to remove content that Moscow considers to be unlawful. Other websites on the list include Wikimedia, the streaming service Twitch, and search engine Google (GOOGL.O).
According to RIA, the court has imposed a fined 2 million roubles ($20,365) on Reddit. A request for comment that was emailed to Reddit was not immediately met with a response.
According to Interfax, the court fined the Wikimedia Foundation, the organization that owns Wikipedia, 2 million roubles on Tuesday for failing to delete “fakes” about what Moscow refers to as its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Since invading Ukraine the previous year, Russia has increased the severity of the fines for “discrediting” the conduct of its military forces or publishing false information about them. These restrictions have been tightened over the coverage of the fight by the media as well as bloggers.
Wikimedia has stated in the past that the information that the Russian authorities took issue with was adequately referenced and adhered to Wikipedia’s guidelines.
Since the Russian government began cracking down on online content in response to Moscow’s decision to send its armed forces into Ukraine, Wikipedia has become one of the few independent sources of information that has managed to survive in Russia.
Despite the fact that Russia has regularly penalized Wikipedia, the country has stated that it does not intend to prohibit access to the online encyclopedia.
Wikimedia has in the past voiced their disapproval of the sanctions, stating that they are “part of an ongoing effort by the Russian government to limit the spread of reliable, well-sourced information in the country.”