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Google takes down raft of Chinese influence operations

Google’s Threat Analysis Group has canned thousands of accounts across its platform for spreading disinformation throughout south-east Asia and Europe.

user icon David Hollingworth
Mon, 10 Jun 2024
Google takes down raft of Chinese influence operations
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Google has released its quarterly TAG Bulletin, which outlines a large number of influence operation campaigns shut down by its Threat Analysis Group in the last three months.

And boy, has it been busy.

The largest culprit appears to be China, with TAG shutting down 1,320 YouTube channels and 1,177 blogs on its Blogger platform. Each account was part of a “coordinated inauthentic network” that created content in both English and Chinese and was focused on influencing foreign affairs between China and the US.

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According to Google, the network and its campaign were directly linked to the People’s Republic of China.

The next biggest offender was Russia. TAG took down 378 YouTube channels with links to a Russian consulting firm. The content on those channels was in Russian and aimed at supporting Russia and criticising Ukraine and its Western allies.

TAG also shut down 59 YouTube channels that were part of an influencing campaign linked to Pakistan, all in Urdu, that was targeted at Pakistani politicians.

Thirty-seven accounts on Blogger were linked to an influencing operation in Indonesia. The blogs were written in Bahasa Indonesia and promoted the country’s ruling party. An Ads account and AdSense account with similar links and content were also shuttered.

Several smaller coordinated campaigns were in India, the Philippines, Myanmar, and France.

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing about technology for over 20 years, and has worked for a range of print and online titles in his career. He is enjoying getting to grips with cyber security, especially when it lets him talk about Lego.

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