YouTube Removes Nearly 2,600 China-Linked Channels Due to Disinformation

Google announced Wednesday that it had banned nearly 2,600 YouTube channels tied to China during the second quarter of 2020 as part of its effort to weed out disinformation and "coordinated influence operations" on the platform.

Most of the channels were removed between April and June, according to a report by Google's Threat Analysis Group, which is aimed at combating state-sanctioned hacking and attacks. Google says most of the channels generally posted "spammy, non-political content," but some of them also posted content about the racial justice protests in the U.S. earlier this year. The social media giant did not identify specific channels that were removed.

Google said it also took down dozens of channels linked to Russia and Iran that were potentially tied to influence campaigns.

The report comes less than 90 days before the U.S. Presidential election as tech companies attempt to avoid a repeat of the 2016 election, where Russia used online platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to try and influence the outcome of the election.

The announcement comes as tensions between the U.S. and China have ratcheted up in recent weeks following President Donald Trump's demand that the Chinese company that owns TikTok, Bytedance, should sell the app to Microsoft, or else face an outright ban in the U.S.

Photo: Getty Images

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