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YouTube Closes 210 Accounts Tied to Hong Kong Influence Campaign

Mark Bergen

(Bloomberg) -- Google said it disabled 210 YouTube channels involved in “coordinate influence operations” around the Hong Kong protests, following similar measures earlier this week by social media companies Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc.

The Alphabet Inc. unit didn’t specify which channels were shut down in Thursday’s blog post announcing the decision. But the post said the company discovered accounts “consistent with recent observations and actions related to China” from Facebook and Twitter.

The social media companies said earlier this week that they had removed hundreds of accounts linked to the Chinese government that were pushing messages meant to undermine the legitimacy of the protests in Hong Kong. Twitter also blocked advertising from state-controlled media. Facebook and Google have not made similar moves on advertising.

YouTube, like Google search and other social media services, does not operate in China.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Bergen in San Francisco at mbergen10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Andrew Pollack, Robin Ajello

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