Youtube has suspended 210 channels suspected of having links with Beijing and spreading disinformation against Hong Kong protest. The move came after US social media platforms Facebook and Twitter accused China government of using their platform to discredit Hong Kong’s protest movement.
“As part of our ongoing efforts to combat coordinated influence operations, we disabled 210 channels on YouTube when we discovered channels in this network behaved in a coordinated manner while uploading videos related to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong,” Google said in a blog post.
Director of Google Threat Analysis Group said “This discovery was consistent with recent observations and actions related to China announced by Facebook and Twitter,”
“We found use of VPNs and other methods to disguise the origin of these accounts and other activity commonly associated with coordinated influence operations,” Huntley added.
We disabled 210 channels on YouTube when we discovered channels in this network behaved in a coordinated manner while uploading videos related to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. https://t.co/gpcfcXvu3c
— Shane Huntley (@ShaneHuntley) August 22, 2019
Experts believe that Beijing is running a major disinformation campaign to discredit the peaceful protest in Hong Kong to push its version of the chaos to lay the groundwork for possible Beijing intervention in the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong.
Beijing has earlier described the protest as riot and protester as not less than a terrorist and accused western countries and Taiwan of orchestrating the chaos. Yang Guang, spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, said “We would like to make it clear to the very small group of unscrupulous and violent criminals and the dirty forces behind them: Those who play with fire will perish by it,”