MOSCOW, November 5 (RAPSI) – The Association of Professional Users of Social Media and Messengers (APUSMM) has urged the Ministry for Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media to introduce fines for foreign internet companies censuring Russian mass media outlets.

The proposal addressed to the Ministry’s head Maksut Shadayev was submitted by APUSMM Director Vladimir Zykov.

As earlier reported by Russia’s communications watchdog Roskomnadzor, Facebook, Google, and Twitter restrict access to materials of about 20 Russian mass media outlets.

Currently, Russia’s Code of Administrative Offences envisages fines up to 10,000 rubles ($126 at the current exchange rate) for obstructing the distribution of materials by the media, the sums, which the APUSMM head believes to be negligible for foreign corporations, so they need to be set at the range from 10 million rubles ($126,000) to the amounts making one percent of their daily international proceeds; moreover, he urges seizure of the assets owned by offenders of this rule.

The Association defines censorship as any actions on contents and accounts, including those adding any additional markings not applied to other Russian mass media outlets.

APUSMM also urges protection of bloggers and owners of online channels, publics, and groups to be included in a law on bloggers the Association is seeking to be adopted.