Telegram fined $65,000 by Russian court over war updates in Ukrainian channels

17 August, 10:20 AM
A popular messenger was fined in the Russian Federation (Photo:telegram)

A popular messenger was fined in the Russian Federation (Photo:telegram)

Social media and messaging app Telegram has been fined $65,000 by a Moscow court, the Interfax news agency reported on Aug. 16, due to Telegram’s unwillingness to delete pro-Ukrainian Telegram channels reporting about the war.

According to documents filed in the Magistrate's Court of the Tagansky district of Moscow, Telegram did not delete information related to the actions of the Russian army in the framework of the war in Ukraine in general and in the Donbas in particular, and has also not gone after Ukrainian or international channels sharing real Russian loss numbers – which the Russian government has gone some way to hide.

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Telegram is sometimes seen as a pro-Kremlin company, due to their loose moderation policy, and many official and unofficial Russian organizations use Telegram as their main platform to disseminate propaganda and media statements. Telegram channels have been used to coordinate attacks on Ukrainian targets both on and offline, though there are many pro-Ukrainian Telegram channels operating in occupied territory as well.

Despite this, Telegram remains a major platform for Russian propaganda, unlike Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, which remove content that calls for violence and disinformation about the war in Ukraine.

Even the Chinese-owned TikTok platform has announced strict moderation of disinformation against Ukraine – though that policy has not prevented Russian and international disinformation peddlers to continue to spread lies and propaganda about Ukraine and the Russian invasion.

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