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A Russian court has fined Twitter and Google for not removing banned content from its site, including information on how to construct homemade explosives.
Twitter was hit with a fine for three million rubles (£33,000/$41,000) after failing to remove content from its site that is banned in Russia, such as posts that featured instructions on how to make Molotov cocktails.
Russia also fined Google the same amount for not banning content from its video-sharing platform YouTube.
Back in March, Vadim Subbotin, deputy head of Russian telecommunications watchdog Roskomnadzor, said Twitter may be blocked in the country unless it took proper steps to remove the prohibited content.
Subbotin told Interfax: "Twitter has not properly responded to our requests. If things go the same way, it will be blocked out of court in a month.”
However, he explained that the company could avoid the block if it agreed to cooperate in removing the banned content.
Subbotin added: "Our colleagues still have some time to engage in negotiations. We'll monitor the situation for a month and make our decision within this period of time."
He said Roskomnadzor ‘has so far not noticed any practical steps taken by Twitter to remove banned content'.
Earlier this month, the court then registered a motion after the social media platform failed to remove the banned content.
The magistrates’ court told Interfax that a hearing was scheduled to take place on 28 April, saying Twitter was charged with failure to remove materials containing information prohibited in Russia. According to the news agency, these included 'Nazi attributes and symbols, excuses of the activity of extremist and terrorist networks, and instructions on how to make explosives at home’.
As Russian forces invaded Ukraine in late February, the Ukrainian defence ministry called on citizens to 'make molotov cocktails' to help 'neutralize' the enemy.
It tweeted: "In Obolon, the enemy DRG. We ask citizens to inform about the movement of equipment! Make Molotov cocktails, neutralize the occupier! Peaceful residents — be careful! Do not leave the house!"
The ministry also published a number of graphics showing people how to make the petrol bombs, and how they could be best launched at a tank for maximum impact, later outlining the 'vulnerabilities' of Russian tanks, trucks and vans in another tweet.
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