Russian Court Fines Twitch RUB 2 Million for Streaming Fake Video About War Crimes: Report

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A court in Russia has fined streaming service Twitch RUB 2 million (roughly Rs. 26,21,100) for hosting a short video containing what it calls “fake” information about alleged war crimes in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, Russian news agencies reported on Tuesday.

Russia has repeatedly threatened to fine sites — including Google, Twitter and Wikipedia — it accuses of hosting “fake” content related to its military campaign in Ukraine.

The court accused Twitch, a US-based live-streaming service popular with video gamers, of failing to remove a 31-second clip of a girl from the town of Bucha, the Kommersant newspaper reported. It did not specify the content of the video.

Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ukraine and its allies accuse Russian forces of committing atrocities in Bucha, a satellite town of Kyiv, after Moscow launched its invasion in February. Russia denies the charge.

Earlier, RIA reported that Telegram messenger was hit with two fines totalling RUB 11 million (roughly Rs. 1 crore) for refusing to delete channels which allegedly showed how to “sabotage” military vehicles and hosting “unreliable data” about Russia’s progress in what it calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Last month, Russia punished Wikimedia Foundation for violating Russian law around the conflict in Ukraine. Wikimedia hosts online encyclopedia Wikipedia. In a statement, Russian watchdog Roskomnadzor said that Wikipedia still hosted “prohibited materials, including fakes about the course of the special military operation on the territory of Ukraine”, and that search engines would be used to inform users that Wikimedia violated Russian law. Roskomnadzor said the measures would remain in place until Wikimedia Foundation becomes fully compliant with Russian law.

Russia introduced sweeping new laws on sharing information about the conflict in Ukraine shortly after the Kremlin ordered tens of thousands of troops to deploy to the country on February 24.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


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