YouTube has banned a large number of Chinese accounts it said were engaging in "coordinated influence operations" on political issues, the company announced today. 2,596 accounts from China alone were taken down from April to June, compared with 277 in the first three months of 2020. "These channels mostly uploaded spammy, non-political content, but a small subset posted political content primarily in Chinese similar to the findings in a recent Graphika report, including content related to the U.S. response to COVID-19," Google posted in its Threat Analysis Group bulletin for Q2.
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The Alphabet-owned company said the channels were removed between April and June "as part of our ongoing investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to China." The channels generally posted "spammy, non-political content," but a small subset touched on politics, the company said in a quarterly bulletin on disinformation operations. Google did not identify the specific channels and provided few other details, except to link the videos to similar activity spotted by Twitter and to a disinformation campaign identified in April by social media analytics company Graphika.