Google has disabled 210 accounts on YouTube linked to recent protests in Hong Kong. The action follows the similar attitude taken by the Twitter and Facebook, who deleted accounts from their platforms.
According to a statement by the two companies (and now Google), the accounts were found to have been created or hijacked by the Chinese state to discredit the protests, publishing propaganda in defense of Hong Kong police (repeatedly accused of truculence) and attacks on protesters. pro-democracy. The justification for deleting the accounts was “misinformation reporting”.
The case of Google is more delicate, if we remember the period when it kept a Chinese version of its search engine, working with censorship filters, between 2006 and 2010. In late 2009, Google's servers suffered attacks attributed to Chinese intruders ordered by Google. Beijing government itself.
Google eventually left China in March 2010. Today, google.cn addresses the Hong Kong search engine (google.com.hk), an unrestricted version created only for the former British colony.
When it comes to China, Google treads on eggs – so the cautious tone used to explain on its blog why it deleted accounts on YouTube: They would use "VPNs and other methods to disguise their origin, activities associated with influence operations." Although not justifying the action, references to Twitter and Facebook make it clear why.
O Twitter, justifying the ban, used as an example an account created in 2013. In the early months, the American saydullos1d posted in English about outdoor activities. After four years of inactivity, she returned in 2018 writing in Chinese and now praising Hong Kong police and attacking protesters for threatening law and order. The same type of sampling was served by the Facebook deleting suspicious accounts.