After Facebook and Twitter, YouTube has disabled 210 channels as they appeared to be a part of the “coordinated influence campaign” against the ongoing protests in Hong Kong, the company said in a blog. YouTube said the channels were being used to upload videos undermining the ongoing protests. VPNs and other methods were also being used to hide the origin of the accounts.

Social media sites accusing China govt of undermining Hong Kong protests

On August 19, Facebook removed five accounts, seven pages and three groups, run by individuals associated with the Chinese government, and which frequently posted content on political issues such as the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. According to Facebook, the posts show protestors in Hong Kong in a bad light, with some of them calling “cockroaches” and comparing them to Islamic State terrorists.

Facebook’s investigation into the issue began after it received a tip from Twitter, where certain accounts posing as news media outlets were posting content with the aim of undermining the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. Acting upon this matter, Twitter announced that it will be banning state-controlled news outlets from advertising on the platform. “Based on our intensive investigations, we have reliable evidence to support that this is a coordinated state-backed operation,” Twitter had said.

China govt says Chinese people have rights to state their views

The protests began in March to oppose a currently suspended bill called Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019. which states that suspects can be sent to the mainland and other countries for trials. This protest then fuelled further with wider issues and demands for democracy.

In response to the accusations made by Facebook and Twitter earlier this week, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that people will have their own judgement on the issue and overseas Chinese people and students have the right to state their views.