Google Removed 210 YouTube Channels for Coordinated Activity Related to Hong Kong

Twitter and Facebook made similar moves earlier this week

The banned channels uploaded videos related to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong
Anatoliy Sizov/iStock

YouTube got caught in the China-Hong Kong fray from earlier this week, as parent company Google revealed that it disabled 210 channels on the video site.

Shane Huntley of Google Security’s Threat Analysis Group discussed the removals in a blog post, writing, “Earlier this week, as part of our ongoing efforts to combat coordinated influence operations, we disabled 210 channels on YouTube when we discovered that channels in this network behaved in a coordinated manner while uploading videos related to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. This discovery was consistent with recent observations and actions related to China announced by Facebook and Twitter.”

Twitter said Monday that it was no longer accepting ads from state-controlled entities, and that 936 accounts originating in China were suspended for a range of violations.

That same day, Facebook removed seven pages, three groups and five accounts following a tip from Twitter, for coordinated inauthentic behavior originating in China and focused on Hong Kong.

Huntley said Google discovered the use of virtual private networks and other methods to disguise the origins of the accounts it removed and other related activity.

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