It’s unclear which rules the channels had broken, though, or even which ones have been taken down.
The news: YouTube has disabled 210 channels, writing in a blog post they had “behaved in a coordinated manner while uploading videos related to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong.”
The reasoning: YouTube said its action “was consistent with recent observations and actions related to China announced by Facebook and Twitter.” The two companies announced earlier this week that they’d suspended nearly 1,000 accounts thought to be part of a Chinese government operation to spread disinformation about the protests in Hong Kong. YouTube said it had detected the use of VPNs and other methods to disguise the origin of the accounts, as well as other activity usually associated with “coordinated influence operations.”
Vague details: In many ways, YouTube’s post raises more questions than it answers. Are these accounts being closed because they’re posting disinformation? Or because they are coordinating with each other? The post didn’t provide any examples of accounts that have been removed, or the sort of videos they were posting. There’s a risk that the company could appear to be selectively applying (unspecified) rules.
Double standards: YouTube’s decision raises another, obvious question: If it can remove these accounts so quickly, why can’t it do more to stop the far right and white extremists from using its platform to spread radicalizing views, or to crack down on conspiracy-theory accounts?
Sign up here for our daily newsletter The Download to get your dose of the latest must-read news from the world of emerging tech.
This startup wants to copy you into an embryo for organ harvesting
With plans to create realistic synthetic embryos, grown in jars, Renewal Bio is on a journey to the horizon of science and ethics.
VR is as good as psychedelics at helping people reach transcendence
On key metrics, a VR experience elicited a response indistinguishable from subjects who took medium doses of LSD or magic mushrooms.
This artist is dominating AI-generated art. And he’s not happy about it.
Greg Rutkowski is a more popular prompt than Picasso.
This nanoparticle could be the key to a universal covid vaccine
Ending the covid pandemic might well require a vaccine that protects against any new strains. Researchers may have found a strategy that will work.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.