Google has eliminated 210 YouTube accounts after it stated China used the video platform to sow disharmony among protesters in Hong Kong.
The search titan Google, which owns YouTube, followed in the footsteps of Facebook and Twitter, which earlier this week said China had used their social media platforms to spread misinformation and disagreement among the protesters, who’ve spent weeks taking to the streets to demand China stops interfering with the semi-autonomous region’s affairs.
In a short blog post, Google’s Shane Huntley said the corporate took action after it detected activity which “behaved in a coordinated way while importing videos associated with the ongoing protests in Hong Kong.”
In line with Twitter and Facebook’s findings, Google said it located the use of private digital networks — or VPNs — which can be used to tunnel by China’s censorship system, known as the Great Firewall. Facebook, Twitter, and Google are all banned in China. However, Google said little more in regards to the accounts, what they shared, or whether it would reveal its findings to researchers.
Over a million protesters occupied the streets this weekend to peacefully demonstrate against the Chinese government, which took over dominance from the UK in 1997. Protests exploded earlier this year after a bid by Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to push via an extremely controversial bill that would allow criminal defendants to be deported to mainland China for trial. The proposal was rejected, successfully killing it from entering the law books; however, protests have continued, pushing back at claims that China is attempting to interfere in Hong Kong’s affairs.