Monday, March 6

Google: Google has removed over 7,000 YouTube channels with links to China, Russia

Google’s Threat Analysis Group has revealed that over 7,000 YouTube videos were removed from the platform in the first quarter of 2023. In a blog post, Shane Huntley, senior director, Threat Analysis Group, revealed why the videos were removed.

Links to Russia and China

Google removed 87 channels because of their “coordinated influence operations linked to Russia.” Huntley explained, “The campaign was linked to the Internet Research Agency (IRA) and was sharing content in Russian that was supportive of the Wagner Group and Russia’s performance in the war in Ukraine.”
Further, Google also terminated 7 YouTube channels as part of its investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to Russia. The campaign was linked to actors tied to Russian intelligence and was sharing content in Russian that was supportive of the Russian government, the war in Ukraine, and the quality of daily life in Russia for the average Russian citizen.
Huntley said that Google terminated 6,285 YouTube channels and 52 Blogger blogs because of coordinated influence operations linked to China. “These channels and blogs mostly uploaded spammy content in Chinese about music, entertainment and lifestyle. A very small subset uploaded content in Chinese and English about China and U.S. foreign affairs,” explained Huntley.
40 YouTube channels that have been removed were linked to Iran. “The campaign was sharing content in Persian, English, Hindi and Urdu that was supportive of the Iranian government and critical of protesters in Iran. We received leads from Graphika that supported us in this investigation,” said Huntley.
Also, about 1,088 YouTube channels were removed because of their links to to Azerbaijan. The campaign was sharing content in Azerbaijani that was supportive of Azerbaijan and critical of Armenia and critics of the Azerbaijani government.

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