SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google announced on Thursday that its YouTube streaming video service disabled 210 channels appearing to engage in a coordinated influence operation around the Hong Kong protests, days after Twitter and Facebook said they dismantled a similar campaign originating in mainland China.
“This discovery was consistent with recent observations and actions related to China announced by Facebook and Twitter,” said Shane Huntley, one of Google’s security leaders, in a blog post. But he stopped short of identifying the origin of the channels.
Twitter - Inc - Facebook - Inc - Monday
Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc on Monday said that channels they had removed had engaged in a state-backed effort by China to undermine the protests in Hong Kong through posts calling participants dangerous and vile extremists.
The protests, which have presented one of the biggest challenges for Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012, began in June as opposition to a now-suspended bill that would allow suspects to be extradited to mainland China for trial in Communist Party-controlled courts. They have since swelled into wider calls for democracy.
Attempts - Opinion - Disinformation - Situation - Hong
“We are deeply concerned by Chinese attempts to manipulate public opinion by spreading disinformation about the situation in Hong Kong,” a United States State Department spokeswoman told Reuters.
The Chinese embassy in Washington did not respond to requests for comment. The Chinese mission to the United Nations sent Reuters a link to a story from the ruling Communist Party media outlet People’s Daily that said Twitter and Facebook “abused media freedom” in cracking down on accounts that had revealed violence in the protests. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are all blocked in mainland China by the government but are available in Hong Kong. Each of the services bans deceptive practices and inauthentic accounts. The three companies have also come under fire from users for generating revenue...
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