Google purges over 7,500 YouTube channels linked to malicious operations
Google took down more than 7,500 YouTube channels in Q1 2023 as part of its investigation into coordinated influence operations, and terminated 6,285 YouTube channels and 52 Blogger blogs alone linked to China.
These channels and blogs mostly uploaded spammy content in Chinese about music, entertainment and lifestyle.
“A very small subset uploaded content in Chinese and English about China and U.S. foreign affairs,” said Google.
Google’s Threat Analysis Group (TAG) said it also terminated 40 YouTube channels sharing content in Persian, English, Hindi and Urdu that was supportive of the Iranian government and critical of protesters in Iran.
The team terminated 1,088 YouTube channels, sharing content in Azerbaijani that was supportive of Azerbaijan and critical of Armenia and critics of the Azerbaijani government.
It also blocked 2 domains from eligibility to appear on Google News surfaces and Discover as part of its investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to individuals from Poland.
“The campaign was sharing content in Polish that was supportive of Russia and critical of the United States and Ukraine. We received leads from Mandiant, which is now part of Google Cloud,” said the company.
Google also terminated 87 YouTube channels linked to the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA).
“We terminated 4 YouTube channels as part of our investigation into coordinated influence operations. The campaign was sharing content in German that was critical of Ukrainian refugees,” the company added.