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Google terminates 299 YouTube channels linked to China

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on September 16, 2020 Published on September 16, 2020

Google between April and June 2020 had terminated over 2,500 similar YouTube channels   -  REUTERS

These channels uploaded ‘spammy’ content in Chinese on music, entertainment and lifestyle

Google had terminated 299 YouTube channels linked to China in July, according to the latest update on its Threat Analysis Group (TAG) bulletin for Q3 2020.

“We terminated 299 YouTube channels as part of our ongoing investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to China,” TAG’s Shane Huntley wrote in a blog post.

“These channels mostly uploaded spammy content in Chinese about music, entertainment, and lifestyle. A very small subset uploaded content in Chinese about Covid-19 and current events in Hong Kong,” Huntley added.

Google between April and June 2020 had terminated over 2,500 similar YouTube channels.

Graphika report

A small subset of these channels had posted political content, primarily in Chinese, similar to the findings in a recent Graphika report, including content related to the US response to Covid-19, Google had said.

The Graphika report detailed a pro-Chinese cross-platform political spam network had remerged in 2020. The network dubbed “Spamouflage Dragon” is reactivating its accounts to post political spam messages about various issues, including Hong Kong politics, Chinese regime critics and the Chinese response to Covid-19.

Apart from this, Google in July also terminated one advertising account and seven YouTube channels that were part of “a coordinated influence operation linked to Ecuador.”

“The campaign was linked to the PR firm Estraterra, and posted content in Spanish about former Ecuador government employees. These findings are consistent with similar findings reported by Facebook,” wrote Huntley.

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Published on September 16, 2020
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