Russia fined social media site Reddit for the first time on Tuesday for failing to remove “prohibited content” it said contained “false” information about Russia’s military operations in Ukraine, Ria Novosti reported, citing a Moscow court. .

Reddit joins a list of sites censored in Russia for failing to remove content Moscow considers illegal, including Wikimedia, streaming service Twitch and Google.

The court has fined Reddit 2 million rubles ($20,365, or about 1.6 million rupees), the RIA said. Reddit did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Also on Tuesday, a court fined the Wikimedia Foundation, which owns Wikipedia, 2 million rubles for failing to remove information about what Moscow called a “special military operation” in Ukraine, Interfax reported. “False Content”.

Since its invasion of Ukraine last year, Russia has tightened controls on media and blog coverage of the conflict, imposing tougher penalties for “smearing” the actions of its armed forces or publishing false information about them.

Wikimedia has previously said that the information Russian authorities complained about was well-sourced and met Wikipedia standards.

Wikipedia is one of the few remaining independent sources of information in Russia since the state stepped up its crackdown on online content after Moscow sent armed forces to Ukraine.

Russia has said it has no plans to block Wikipedia, but has repeatedly fined the online encyclopedia.

Wikimedia has previously criticized the penalties as “part of the Russian government’s ongoing efforts to limit the dissemination of reliable, well-sourced information in the country.”

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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