(LifeSiteNews) – In what has become a regular occurrence, a Russian court has fined social media companies Meta and TikTok for posts that promoted LGBT ideology.
News outlets reported April 26 that Meta – the parent company of both Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp – had been fined four million rubles ($53,000) by a Moscow court.
The Tagansky Moscow Court reportedly levied the fine over the company’s refusal to remove posts from Instagram which promoted “non-traditional sexual values to minors.”
Meanwhile, Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok was also fined for promoting LGBT “propaganda.” In a separate hearing, the court found TikTok guilty of contravening the “Gay Propaganda Law,” which requires deletion of LGBT-related materials deemed offensive by the Russian authorities. TikTok was fined 2 million rubles ($27,000).
Such fines are not uncommon for social media and tech companies in Russia, particularly with regard to promotion of LGBT ideology. Recently in May 2021, Facebook was fined around $353,890 by a Russian court over eight charges, while Google was also fined $80,200.
For a number of months last year, Russian authorities slowed down the speed of social media network Twitter after the company also did not remove banned content quickly enough. Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor stated that Twitter posts containing “child pornography, drug abuse information or calls for minors to commit suicide” must be removed.
Such regulation of the internet has increased following the recent instigation of the Russia-Ukraine war, with access to Facebook completely blocked in Russia and access to Twitter partially blocked. This is part of the ongoing censorship programs which Big Tech companies are waging against Russia, with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram banning Russian state-sponsored media from the platforms.
The Big Tech companies are no strangers to imposing censorship, with Facebook and Twitter having gained international renown for banning individuals who propose “misinformation” or contravene the company’s standards. Notably, President Donald Trump was banned from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram after the January 6 protests at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
TikTok has also conducted a censorship campaign in defense of LGBT ideology and abortion, deleting a video made by a Catholic priest explaining why Catholics shouldn’t support “pride” month. In January 2020, the company temporarily banned the account of pro-life group Live Action, and in 2019 it temporarily suspended 17-year-old Feroza Aziz over a video discussing the Chinese government’s persecution of the country’s Uighur Muslim population.
TikTok has also been a subject of ongoing privacy and even national security concerns stemming from its ties to the Chinese regime. In December, a class-action lawsuit was filed against the company for allegedly harvesting user data in secret and sending it back to China.