News (World)

Russia slaps Google with a fine for refusing to remove LGBTQ+ YouTube videos

Google's building
Photo: Shutterstock

A Russian court has fined Google partly for refusing to remove LGBTQ+ YouTube videos. The tech company has been ordered to pay three million rubles, or about $38,570.

Prosecutors in Russia accused Google of spreading “LGBT propaganda” in violation of its ban on LGBTQ+ content. The fine was also levied against Google for spreading “false information” about Russia’s unprovoted invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reports.

Russia’s ban on LGBTQ+ propaganda – or the law “for the Purpose of Protecting Children from Information Advocating a Denial of Traditional Family Values” – was passed in 2013 and was expanded in 2022. It originally just banned discussing homosexuality and same-sex relationships in front of children but was extended to any such discussion in front of other people of any age group.

Their definition of LGBTQ+ propaganda includes anything that “raises interest in” same-sex relationships, causes people to “form non-traditional sexual predispositions,” or says that LGBTQ+ relationships have as much value as heterosexual relationships.

Russian authorities had asked Google to remove several YouTube videos, including one about same-sex couples raising children, which Moscow said was made by a “foreign agent,” and another about LGBTQ+ people in St. Petersburg.

Earlier this year, a German teacher visiting the Russian city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky was convicted of violating the ban on LGBTQ+ propaganda when he invited a Russian man to have sex at his hotel room. He got deported.

In March, the same law was used to prosecute a young male bi-national couple who are popular content creators on the TikTok video-sharing platform. It’s unclear if the couple was prosecuted for publishing gay-related content online or for some other reason. After their arrest, the couple relocated outside of the country — leaving their homes, jobs, and possessions. The member of the couple, who is a Russian native, has a court date scheduled in Russia on May 11, according to the couple’s Telegram account.

Don't forget to share:

Support vital LGBTQ+ journalism

Reader contributions help keep LGBTQ Nation free, so that queer people get the news they need, with stories that mainstream media often leaves out. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated

Anderson Cooper scolds CNN’s critics over Trump town hall for not leaving their “silo”

Previous article

Kansas City declares itself a “sanctuary city” for transgender people

Next article