Twitter, Facebook
© REUTERS / Jon Nazca
A group of Russian social media professionals have asked the Ministry of Communications to fine foreign companies who censor Russian media, after it was revealed that US tech giants have restricted around 20 Russian outlets.

In an open letter, the Association of Professional Users of Social Networks and Messengers (APPSIM) proposed a fine of 10 million rubles ($130,000) for the offending parties, with their sights set on American firms, such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter.

The notice cites data from Russia's federal censor, Roskomnadzor, which claims that the trio have blocked access to material from about 20 Russian media outlets, including RIA Novosti, RT, Sputnik, and Rossiya-1.

As things stand, the maximum fine companies face for censorship is 10,000 rubles ($128). However, despite the fines, the Federal Bailiff Service (FSSP) currently doesn't have the ability to collect the money. According to Vladimir Zykov, director of APPSIM, the money should be taken from their Russia-based partners.

"This year, Facebook and Twitter were fined 4 million rubles ($51,000)," Zykov said. "It is necessary to give bailiffs the right to take away these funds from Russian advertising partners."

Earlier this year, Twitter shadow-banned RT and other state-funded Russian media outlets, meaning that they are now undiscoverable via the website's search function. The website also labeled RT as "Russia state-affiliated media" and received criticism after not labeling similar websites from other countries, such as the Britain's BBC and American's state-run RFE/RL.

APPSIM is a group of social media professionals who run groups and channels with more than 100,000 subscribers.