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Russia's proposed "fake news" bill slaps massive fines on social networks

A photo taken on April 2, 2018 shows the building of Russian parliament's lower house, the State Duma. / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Building of Russian parliament's lower house, the State Duma. Photo: Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images

Russia’s governing party, United Russia, has proposed legislation seeking to impose an $800,000 fine on websites for "inaccurate" posts if they fail to remove the content, and will hold social networks accountable for comments users post the government deems erroneous, reports the New York Times.

The details: Critics see the legislation, which passed one of three series of votes in Parliament, as a crackdown on digital rights. Internet companies, who would be required to remove such posts, argue that the number of posts and comments by readers make it impossible for for moderators to thoroughly review within 24 hours, per the Times. Under current law, social media users could be prisoned or face a fine for content that promotes homosexuality, seen as a threat to public order or "extremist" in nature.