Russia filed a case against social media platforms for allegedly not deleting posts that urged children to join protests. The three primary respondents in the case were Google, Twitter and Facebook.

An Interfax news agency report stated that each of the three platforms are facing three cases each. The fines that they are most likely to face are in the vicinity of $54,000 per case. It was not only Google, Twitter or Facebook that crossed swords with the Putin-led country, but TikTok and Telegram were also subjected to the same.

New York Post reported that the filing of cases against these social media giants came after Alexei Navalny was imprisoned and was sentenced for a duration of 30 months. Navalny was a known critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and he has been very vocal in expressing his opposition towards Putin's policies.

Navalny is a lawyer, anti-corruption activist and the leader of opposition in Russia. He was tagged by the Wall Street Journal as the man that Putin fears the most. Navalny organised anti-government demonstrations and also ran for office, which advocated for anti-corruption reforms in Russia.

The media tried to reach out to Google, Facebook and also Twitter for their comments on the Interfax report. Google declined to comment on the subject while Facebook and Twitter did not immediately respond.

Reuters reported that the cases against Twitter, Facebook and Google will be heard on April 2.

This is not the first time that social media giants were either made the subject of a lawsuit or the one filing the case themselves.

In December 2020, a U.S. judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by a tech group, Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), funded by Twitter, Facebook and Google, wherein they asked the court to declare a presidential executive order as invalid. The said presidential order aimed to weaken a law that gives protection to social media companies.

In the said case, the judge said that the CDT had no standing to oppose the order because it was not directed against the group but the essence of the law was to instruct federal agencies to move towards the potential of rule making.

Facebook and Google have become the dominant forces for online advertising in many parts of the world, making it harder for news media organizations seeking a transition to digital. Photo: AFP / DENIS CHARLET