210 YouTube accounts disabled by Google after China accused of using the video platform to cause unrest amongst Hong Kong protesters

23rd August 2019 – (Hong Kong) Following the footsteps of Facebook and Twitter, Google has also disabled 210 YouTube  accounts after it said that China used the video platform to cause unrest amongst Hong Kong protesters.

Shane Huntley, Threat Analysis Group from Google Security said that the company took action after it detected activity which “behaved in a coordinated manner while uploading videos related to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. Protecting our users and the integrity of our platforms is essential to Google’s mission. My team works with others across Google to detect phishing and hacking attempts, identify influence operations and protect users from digital attacks.’

He further stated that ‘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.’

Google found found use of VPNs and other methods to disguise the origin of these accounts and other activity commonly associated with coordinated influence operations.