In a move to strike-off online disinformation, Alphabet-owned Google removed 2,500 China-linked YouTube accounts. These accounts were reportedly removed between April and June this year as part of their ongoing investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to China.
According to Google’s quarterly bulletin on disinformation operations, the channels that were taken down posted “spammy, non-political” content, but occasionally touched on politics
Graphika, a social media analytics company identified a disinformation campaign in April. Google linked the recently taken-down accounts to this campaign but did not identify them.
National Governments support digital crackdown
Reuters reports, “Disinformation seeded by foreign actors has emerged as a burning concern for American politicians and technologists alike since the 2016 presidential election when Russian government-linked actors pumped hundreds of thousands of deceptive messages into the social media ecosystem.”
During July, the White House was planning to ban the Chinese social media app TikTok. President Trump even told reporters that he would pass an executive order to do so.
TikTok faces a deadline of 15 September to either sell its US operations to Microsoft or face an outright ban. US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said a US campaign called “Clean Network” would focus on five areas and include steps to prevent various Chinese apps.
Similar efforts are seen in India, where the central government banned 59 Chinese apps at the end of June, and 47 more in July.