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Google deletes 2,600 YouTube accounts linked to China

Google deletes 2,600 YouTube accounts linked to China
Google said thousands of accounts linked to Russia, Iran and China were terminated between April and June. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Google has taken down about 2,600 YouTube channels it says were connected with a "coordinated influence operation" from China.

Google's Threat Analysis Group said it also deleted channels connected with Russia and Iran during its sweeps but found most that violated platform rules originated in China.

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The company said it terminated a little fewer than 2,600 Chinese channels altogether between April and June.

"These channels mostly uploaded spammy, non-political content, but a subset posted political content primarily in Chinese similar to the findings in a recent [analysis], including content related to racial justice protests in the U.S.," Google said in its report Wednesday. "This campaign was consistent with similar findings reported by Twitter."

Google cited a report by Graphika in April that found a pro-Chinese political spam campaign called "Spamouflage Dragon" that used new and dormant accounts to post about Hong Kong politics, critics of the Chinese government and Beijing's response to COVID-19.

Google said almost 100 Russian channels were similarly terminated.

Earlier this week, the Trump administration threatened to ban Chinese video-sharing app TikTok unless it's sold to U.S. tech giant Microsoft, a proposal that's drawn ire in China. President Donald Trump gave TikTok's parent company until Sept. 15 to work out a sale.

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