Connect with us

SOCIAL

Google’s Removed Over 50k YouTube Channels Linked to Influence Operations Originating from China

Published

on

YouTube Expands its 'Pre-Publish Checks' Tool to the Mobile App

This seems to be a significant, yet largely buried element within Google’s TAG Bulletin reports, which provide an overview of all of the coordinated influence operations that its team has detected and shut down over time.

As we reported back in May, at the time of Google’s Q1 TAG Bulletin, Google removed more 31,000 YouTube channels linked to Chinese-based influence operations between July last year and March 2022, a huge amount, which far outweighed any other element.

And today, Google has shared its Q2 Tag Bulletin, which, along with its various efforts to combat Russian-backed misinformation efforts about the invasion of Ukraine, also details that it shut down another 7,169 YouTube channels linked back to China in the last three months.

For comparison, Google removed 231 YouTube channels, in total, in connection to the Ukraine conflict.

As explained by Google:

“These channels mostly uploaded spammy content in Chinese about music, entertainment, and lifestyle. A very small subset uploaded content in Chinese and English about China and U.S. foreign affairs.

Which is the explanation Google has provided for all of these removals, a templated, and somewhat vague summary of what’s going on with these channels.

So what is going on, exactly?

There’s not a lot of detail provided, but it seems that the main purpose of these channels is to first build an audience in the app by posting engaging, light content, which grabs viewer attention. The channels then eventually use that reach to sprinkle in some pro-China sentiment, in order to seed such among broader audiences.

That then enables the CCP, and/or related groups, to potentially sway public opinion through subtle means, by gently nudging these viewers towards a more positive view of China’s activities.

And the scale of the operation is significant – in total, over the past year, Google has now detected and removed more than 50,000 YouTube channels (not individual videos, mind you, channels) connected to this effort.

That’s a lot, and if you look at the data, the program seems to have ramped up significantly this year, which likely suggests that whoever is behind it sees YouTube as a powerful vector for influence.

The data further underlines the importance of social platforms taking proactive, definitive steps to stop such programs before they can gain traction, while also pointing to how state-based actors are looking to utilize the scale of social networks to influence global opinion.

Which is also a concern linked to the rise of TikTok, with many security experts warning of the potential dangers of the Chinese-owned app gathering information and/or enabling pro-China narratives to proliferate.

Indeed, TikTok has come under scrutiny on several occasions over its perceived efforts to suppress anti-China content, and with recent analysis also showing that the app is becoming a key news and information resource for younger users, that may well become a bigger issue over time.

Add to this the fact that the Chinese Government continues to clash with other world leaders, on various fronts, and there’s clearly reason for some concern there.

And with pro-China groups also looking to infiltrate YouTube at this scale, there does appear to be some important trends emerging within the broader flow of news and information online.

We’ve asked Google for more information on exactly what’s going on with these YouTube removals, and we’ll add to this story if/when we hear back.

UPDATE: Google has referred us to this Twitter thread, on a China-linked group named DragonBridge, for more context on the removals.



Source link

SOCIAL

YouTube Shares the Top Creators, Clips and Ads of 2022

Published

on

YouTube Shares the Top Creators, Clips and Ads of 2022

YouTube’s has published its listing of the top trending videos and creators of 2022, which provides an interesting overview of the year that was in online entertainment.

Starting with the most viewed clips, the top video was posted by gaming legend Technoblade, in which his father shares Technoblade’s farewell message that he composed before passing away due to cancer.

Technoblade’s final upload has been viewed over 87 million times, which is a testament to the influence the creator had within the broader gaming community.

The second most viewed clip was Will Smith’s infamous confrontation with Chris Rock at the Oscars, followed by another gaming streamer, Dream, and his face reveal clip.

The influence of gaming on online culture is once again on display in YouTube’s top performers, with several of the top channels and clips having links to gaming trends.

Prank videos are also prominent, which is a potentially more concerning trend, with some pushing the boundaries and leading to harm, while the Super Bowl halftime show also makes the top 10 list.

In terms of creators, it comes as little surprise to see MrBeast topping the list:

US Top Creators

  1. MrBeast (114M subs)
  2. NichLmao (18.7 subs)
  3. Airrack (10.7M subs)
  4. Ryan Trahan (11.1M subs)
  5. Isaiah Photo (8M subs)
  6. Brent Rivera (22.3M subs)
  7. Dan Rhodes (18.8M subs)
  8. Luke Davidson (9.31M subs)
  9. CoryxKenshin (15M subs)
  10. Ian Boggs (8.07M subs)

Jimmy Donaldson has become YouTube’s biggest success story, overtaking PewDiePie to become the most subscribed creator, and parlaying his YouTube success into various other business streams, including BeastBurger restaurants, Feastables chocolate bars and more. Donaldson has even outlined his longer-term plan to run for President. Which is probably not a genuine target, but then again…

YouTube has also provided a listing of Breakout Creators for the year, which includes various Shorts-focused stars.

Breakout Creators

  • NichLmao (18.7 subs)
  • Airrack (10.7M subs)
  • Jooj Natu ENG (6.03M subs)
  • Shangerdanger (4.03M subs)
  • David The Baker (2.47M subs)
  • Kat (5.2M subs)
  • Dayta (4.39M subs)
  • Devin Caherly Shorts (3.61M subs)
  • MDMotivator (4.17M subs)
  • Charles Brockman III (TheOnly CB3) (2.41M subs)
     

As noted, it’s an interesting overview of the year that was, though from a creative perspective, it’s hard to take many hints from what these top stars are doing and apply it to your own approach.

MrBeast generates most of his viral traction by undertaking ridiculously expensive stunts, while gaming creators are obviously gaming-focused, which is not overly helpful in determining the next big trends.

The majority of the top creators focus on big challenges, like surviving on 1c per day, or living in the Metaverse for 24 hours.

I guess, if you were looking to tap into such, that would be the key lesson, big-time challenges and grandiose projects that generate viral traction through people sharing the clips with their friends.

YouTube’s also shared the top-performing ads of the year:

Global Top Ads

  1. Amazon (US)
  2. Telecom Egypt (Egypt)
  3. Clash of Clans (US)
  4. Apple (US)
  5. Hyundai Worldwide (US)
  6. Imagine Your Korea (Korea)
  7. HBO Max (US)
  8. Netflix (US) 
  9. Chevrolet Brasil (Brazil)
  10. Squarespace (US)

That provides some more specific perspective for marketers, with examples of how other brands are generating traction with their promotional clips – though most of them are celebrity-led, big-budget productions, so again, there’s not a heap for smaller creators to necessarily take from these trends.

I mean, two of the top ten ads feature K-pop megaband BTS, while others have stars like Scarlett Johannsson and Zendaya.

But at the same time, that doesn’t mean that creativity can’t win out.

This ad from Telecom Egypt, second on the above list, uses bright colors and music to sell the brand message.

And really, if you need creative inspiration, you can check out YouTube Shorts and TikTok to see the latest trends that top creators are leaning into with their video approach.

Overall, it’s an interesting perspective on the year, which may help to guide you towards the top stars in the app. But maybe not overly instructive for your own creative approach.

You can check out YouTube’s 2022 year in review here.

Source link

Continue Reading

DON'T MISS ANY IMPORTANT NEWS!
Subscribe To our Newsletter
We promise not to spam you. Unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

Trending

en_USEnglish