Facebook Stiffs Russia Over Wallet-Busting $46 Fine

Adam Scott
September 9, 2019 20:04 UTC

Despite having a CEO who is the fifth-richest person in the world, Facebook failed to pay a $46 fine to Russian authorities.

The fine originated from Facebook’s failure to comply with a 2015 law that requires foreign-based online service providers — such as social media platforms — to store the personal data of their users on servers located within Russia.

The prominent social media platform did not (and does not) store users’ data on any servers in the transcontinental country, which banned homegrown social media service Telegram after it refused to share its encryption keys with the Russian government.

Facebook to Russia: ‘Come and Get It’

If Russia wants to nickel-and-dime Facebook, they’re going to have to wage an expensive legal fight on Mark Zuckerberg’s turf. | Source: Anthony Quintano/Wikimedia Commons

Facebook was officially fined by a Russian court on April 12 and had until 60 days after it came into force on June 25 to pay the 3,000 ruble ($45.78) fine. It didn’t pay.

As noted by RT, If the Russian Federation wants to get that $46 from Mark Zuckerberg and company, it will have to initiate legal proceedings on Facebook’s home turf in California.

It is currently unclear whether or not Facebook’s failure to comply with the Russian fine was an act of defiance or negligence. The Big Tech behemoth is currently worth over $500 billion.

Following 2019’s stock market upswing, Facebook is worth more than $500 billion. | Source: Yahoo Finance

$46 Is Pocket Change (But So Is $5 Billion)

Social media platform Twitter was apparently fined the same amount for violating the law — and has already paid up.

However, on the subject of fines, Facebook was recently slapped with a far-less-trivial amount by the Federal Trade Commission for privacy violations following the high-profile Cambridge Analytica scandal. The FTC doled out a punishment of $5 billion to the social media giant — the largest fine in the independent agency’s history.

Despite the sticker shock, $5 billion only represents one month of revenue for Facebook — making the company’s failure to pay $46 to Russia even more comical.

Adam Scott

Adam lives in Upstate New York and has worked extensively in both fintech and entertainment media. You can email him at adamccn[at]protonmail.com.