Fri. Nov 27th, 2020
  • Google deleted more than 2,500 accounts with ties to China on its YouTube video platform between April and June, per a report from The Guardian.
  • The accounts were removed in an effort to combat the intentional spread of misinformation on the platform and as part of Google’s “ongoing investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to China,” according to a company blog post.
  • News of the removal comes as relations between China and the US grow increasingly tense, partly in regard to tech firms based in the Eastern nation.

Google deleted 2,500 YouTube accounts with connections to China between April and June in an effort to combat the intentional spread of misinformation on the platform.

As The Guardian reported, the accounts that were removed typically posted “spammy, non-political content,” but some channels did publish videos with political material. Google said they were removed “as part of our ongoing investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to China,” according to a company blog post. More accounts were deleted as part of investigations into influence operations linked to other nations such as Russia.

News of the removal comes as relations between China and the US grow increasingly tense, partly in regard to tech firms based in the Eastern nation. US lawmakers say it could be dangerous for Chinese tech companies to hold American user data, which could be made accessible to the Chinese government.

The fate of TikTok, the popular video-sharing app with 100 million US users and owned by the Beijing-based ByteDance, currently hangs in the balance. Microsoft is currently in talks to acquire TikTok’s US business, but if it doesn’t negotiate an agreement with ByteDance by Sept. 15, the app will be banned, according to President Trump.

The fate of Chinese tech firms in the US is also uncertain. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday unveiled a US plan to block “untrusted” Chinese apps and more broadly crackdown on Chinese services in the US. The plan has been dubbed the “Clean Network” program.

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