YouTube disables 210 channels used to influence the Hong Kong protests

Google, the parent company of YouTube, stated in an official blog post that they just banned 210 YouTube accounts. The official reason being that they were involved in a coordinated influence operations, using VPNs along with other methods of obfuscation commonly associated with these sort of engagements.

” Earlier this week, 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. This discovery was consistent with recent observations and actions related to China announced by Facebook and Twitter. “

Shane Huntley – Threat Analysis Group, Google Security

YouTube is the latest social media company following in the footsteps of Twitter who have already suspended hundreds of accounts on the grounds that they are being used to spread disinformation to fragment the Hong Kong. According to Vox Twitter uncovered more than 900 accounts directly tied to the People’s Republic of China, which were all trying to spread disinformation to influence the Hong Kong protests.

Facebook have not been as stark on their stance towards state sponsored ads as Twitter or YouTube. In a statement to BuzzFeedNews they did promise to outright ban ads from state-owned media companies, but would investigate whether they have been violating their policies.

China’s significant cyberattack capabilities have been increasingly highlighted by the US intelligence community. The potential scope of attacks range from disruptions of critical pieces of infrastructure, such as natural gas pipelines, to cyber espionage against the US technology sectors.

” China presents a persistent cyber espionage threat and a growing attack threat to our core military and critical infrastructure systems.”

Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community