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YouTube disables 210 channels linked to Hong Kong influence campaign

Hong Kong protestors.
Secondary school students protest in Hong Kong. Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Google, which owns YouTube, announced Thursday that it shut down more than 200 channels for spreading disinformation about Hong Kong, which has been overwhelmed by pro-democracy protests for nearly 12 weeks.

Driving the news: YouTube is following in the footsteps of Facebook and Twitter, both of which flagged hundreds of similar accounts earlier this week. Twitter since announced that it will no longer permit advertising from "state-controlled news media entities."

What they're saying: A Google statement indicated the accounts were acting in a "coordinated manner while uploading videos related to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong."

  • Google did not disclose many details about the content. The tech giant did say that those who uploaded the videos intended to mask their origin.

The big picture: "The announcement illustrates the reach and pervasiveness of China’s attempts to steer the online conversation about the demonstrations in Hong Kong," writes the Washington Post.

Go deeper: Over 1 million people rally as Hong Kong marks 11th weekend of protests