2,500 YouTube Channels Removed because of Fakes

YouTube removed more than 2,500 channels linked to Russia, China and Iran within a campaign to combat misinformation in the second quarter of 2020.

As Google reports state, all the deleted channels were administered in different languages.

On 19 April, YouTube channels related to Iran were blocked and shut down for misinformation about the US response to COVID-19 and Saudi-US relations. An extra  22 YouTube channels and three Russian-related blogs have been closed for the fakes about the European Union, Ukraine, the United States and Lithuania, as well as for false information disseminated about Russian and Syrian policies and the US response to COVID-19.

186 channels connected with China have also been blocked for spreading spam and misinformation about the US response to COVID-19.

In May, YouTube shut down 1,098 channels linked to China for the fakes about the US response to COVID-19. Besides, resources related to Russia have been removed for the false information disseminated about Russian domestic and international policy.

In June, 1,312 channels linked to China were shut down for spreading false information about mass protests against racial injustice in the United States.

Another 17 Russian-linked channels have been removed for their attempts to make a coordinated impact through comments under a selection of Russian-language videos.

According to YouTube, all the remote channels participated in “coordinated operations of influence” on political issues. It is noteworthy that, in the first quarter of 2020, only 277 Chinese channels were closed, while in the second quarter of 2020, the number of closed resources exceeded several thousand.

Google said that the network actively used videos taken from pro-Chinese government channels, as well as memes and “long-reads” in Chinese and English. All non-political content was used solely to “disguise” the political component.

Google also stressed that Chinese, Russian and Iranian propaganda machines use a multi-platform principle, as similar materials and approaches have appeared on Facebook and Twitter.

Bohdan Marusyak

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