Google removes 200 YouTube channels over Hong Kong misinformation

The site follows Twitter and Facebook in removing accounts.

Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
Expertise News | Mobile | Broadband | 5G | Home tech | Streaming services | Entertainment | AI | Policy | Business | Politics Credentials
  • I've been covering technology and mobile for 12 years, first as a telecommunications reporter and assistant editor at ZDNet in Australia, then as CNET's West Coast head of breaking news, and now in the Thought Leadership team.
Corinne Reichert
YouTube logo
Rafael Henrique/Getty Images

Google removed 210 YouTube channels earlier this week as part of its effort to combat misinformation. The channels were "coordinated influence operations" related to the ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, the company said Thursday in a blog post.

The decision follows Twitter suspending 936 accounts from China on Monday that attempted to undermine the protests in Hong Kong, and Facebook pulling down five Facebook accounts, seven pages and three groups with ties to the Chinese government after it got a tip from Twitter.

Google said the YouTube channels were disabled earlier this week when it discovered they "behaved in a coordinated manner while uploading videos related to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong." It also found the channels were using VPNs and other means to disguise the origin of the accounts.

"This discovery was consistent with recent observations and actions related to China announced by Facebook and Twitter," Google said.

Watch this: YouTube could soon ditch targeted ads for kids