Google has purged thousands of YouTube channels in China, Russia and Brazil as part of its investigation into coordinated influence operations.
The tech giant terminated 5,197 YouTube channels and 17 Blogger blogs as part of its ongoing investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to China.
“These channels and blogs mostly uploaded spammy content in Chinese about music, entertainment, and lifestyle. A very small subset uploaded content in Chinese and English about China and US foreign affairs,” the company said in a blog post.
Google also terminated 718 YouTube channels as part of its investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to Russia.
“The campaign was linked to the Internet Research Agency (IRA) and was sharing content in Russian that was supportive of Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin and critical of Ukraine and the West,” said the company.
It terminated 76 YouTube channels in Brazil where the campaign was sharing content in Brazilian Portuguese that was supportive of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
“We terminated 8 YouTube channels and blocked 2 domains from eligibility to appear on Google News surfaces and Discover as part of our investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to Russia,” said Google.
It also terminated 27 YouTube channels in Russia for sharing content that was supportive of Russia and critical of Western Europe and Ukraine, apart from pulling down 30 YouTube channels and 5 AdSense accounts linked to a Russian consulting firm.