Russia fines Meta over LGBT 'propaganda'

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Apr 26 2022 05:11 PM

'Love is not a crime' is written on the short of an activist during an LGBT picket in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin, Germany, on June 10, 2018. Markus Heine, EPA-EFE/file
'Love is not a crime' is written on the short of an activist during an LGBT picket in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin, Germany, on June 10, 2018. Markus Heine, EPA-EFE/file

A Russian court on Tuesday hit Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta with a fine for refusing to take down LBGT content. 

A Moscow district court ordered the US tech giant to pay four million rubles (about $53,000/50,000 euros) for failing to delete content with LGBT "propaganda", news agency Interfax reported.

Meta and other tech companies are frequently slapped with fines by Russia for not deleting content on the request of authorities. 

Since the start of Moscow's military campaign in Ukraine, Russia has ramped up pressure on social networks, banning Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Attacks on the LGBT community are relatively frequent in Russia, where conservative and religious circles take a dim view of the community.

In 2013, Moscow passed a controversial law against homosexual "propaganda" among minors. It was used to ban pride marches and the display of rainbow flags. 

Since 2020, the constitution specifies that marriage is a union between a man and a woman, effectively banning gay marriage.