2500 China-Related Youtube Channels Pulled By Google
Chinese products have overtaken the world. Whether this is social media apps or toys, you’re bound to have a Chinese-made object in your vicinity. You’re probably reading this on a Chinese-made phone!
Recently there’s been a new trend, that of banning or limiting Chinese products. India seemed to start the trend off by banning a record 59 apps and threatening to ban more. We saw statements regarding China due to the global pandemic from all over the world. Even more recently, we see that Google has taken down 2500 China-related YouTube channels.
Why Have China-related Youtube Channels Been Pulled?
The trend of banning or removing Chinese content has been taking place for a while now. Google has hopped on the trend and announced this decision around August 6th. Several news establishments, like the Guardian, have announced the news. The tech Giant pulled down several China-linked YouTube channels based on disinformation charges. Google mentions that this is a part of its current investigation into influence operations linked to China.
The China-related YouTube channels weren’t all politics related, and some were just spammy YouTube channels that were taken down. Whatever they were, we aren’t going to know. There is no official list of channels released. Google has also not said anything more on the matter.
What Kind of Content is this?
Earlier this year, we saw Graphika, a social media analytics company, pull up similar content on Twitter. The material on Twitter was mainly several disinformation campaigns that were seemingly related and coordinated
The US-China Tensions: TikTok
This decision also comes amid the slowly rising tension between America and China. Apart from the accusations that have been flying around regarding the pandemic, America decided to follow India’s footsteps and threaten to ban TikTok in the country. This ban comes after reports of the app tracking and sharing sensitive information about users of the app. The China-based company was met with accusations that they were exporting the data they collect out of the country.
Read more about Indian Banning Chinese Apps here.
Unlike India, America provided the US-based branch of TikTok a choice: They could sell to Microsoft or be banned. On selling to Microsoft (an American Corporation), the idea is that sensitive information is going to remain safe and secure within the country. They have been given until September 15th to decide.
Is it just Google censoring content?
No, it isn’t just Google that is censoring content in an effort to reduce disinformation. Apps like Facebook have also been forced into censoring content that spreads disinformation. Apps like Google and Facebook, have also been looking into concentrated disinformation efforts by outside forces like these China-related YouTube channels have allegedly been doing.
America, in particular, has seen a lot of external influence via disinformation. The last election, there were rumours of Russian influence in the disinformation spread, which was linked to the eventual Trump victory. Censoring content is meant to prevent such things from happening once again.
But why is disinformation so dangerous?
The main aim of disinformation is to cause confusion and misunderstandings. Fake news or disinformation skews people’s perception leading to problems that have severe consequences of social and political movements.
Misinformation can have debilitating effects on your decisions. For example, misinformation regarding medical issues can cause you to make the wrong choice and end up severely affected.
Disinformation comes from all sorts of sources, but a particular finger has been pointed at social media for allowing the propagation of the news. Sites like Facebook and Whatsapp run unchecked, allowing misinformation to be spread.
These China-related Youtube channels and more sources are meant to cause chaos and problems. For the most part, we cannot differentiate between what is the truth and what is fake news, which is why channels like these flourish. With Google’s new investigation, we can hopefully see a reduction in the amount of disinformation that is spreading. In times like this, it is vital to safe and not believe everything you see on the internet. Always double-check the information you get from social media sites.
Stay safe and stay informed!