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Even as our phones are portals to an entertaining world of fun and whims, they’re also an easy way for governments to manipulate users without them knowing.
Tech companies have stepped up in that regard, taking action to strike down accounts that post state-sponsored propaganda, and this week has been a particularly busy one.
Google spotted over 210 channels on YouTube which were run by state-sponsored parties. The intent was to push content that shaped the views of people who watched videos of the protests in Hong King this week.
“Earlier this week, as part of our ongoing efforts to combat coordinated influence operations, we disabled 210 channels on YouTube when we discovered channels in this network behaved in a coordinated manner while uploading videos related to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong.” Shane Huntley, Threat Analysis Group, Google Security said this week. “This discovery was consistent with recent observations and actions related to China announced by Facebook and Twitter. We found use of VPNs and other methods to disguise the origin of these accounts and other activity commonly associated with coordinated influence operations.”
Twitter for its part said it had banned over 900 pages on Monday, while Facebook said it had taken down 7 pages, 3 groups and 5 accounts this week.