Google terminated 44 YouTube channels and 9 Ads accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency (IRA)

In a recent blog bulletin update, Google terminated 44 YouTube channels and 9 Ads accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency (IRA).

This bulletin covers coordinated influence operation campaigns that ended in Q2 2022 on our platforms. On June 9, 2022, it was last updated.

It reads as follows :

As part of our investigation into coordinated influence efforts linked to Russia, we shut down 138 YouTube channels and 2 Ads accounts. The campaign was linked to a Russian consulting firm and shared Russian content supporting Russia’s actions in Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin while criticising NATO, Ukraine, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

As part of our investigation into coordinated influence efforts linked to Russia, we shut down 44 YouTube channels and 9 Ads accounts.

The campaign was linked to the Internet Research Agency (IRA), and it distributed content in Russian, French, Arabic, and Chinese that backed Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and the Wagner Group’s activities in Ukraine and Africa.

As part of our investigation into Russian-linked coordinated influence efforts, we shut down six YouTube channels. The effort was linked to Russian state-sponsored groups and shared Russian-language content that was pro-Russian in Ukraine and disparaging of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny.

As part of our investigation into coordinated influence efforts linked to Slovakia and Germany, we cancelled three YouTube channels and one AdSense account, as well as blocking one URL from appearing on Google News surfaces and Discover.

The effort was spreading Slovak information that backed Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s alleged motives for its invasion of Ukraine. Mandiant provided us with information that helped us with our inquiry.

As part of our investigation into coordinated influence efforts linked to Costa Rica, we cancelled 37 YouTube accounts and 1 Ads account, as well as blocking two URLs from appearing on Google News surfaces and Discover. The campaign was related to Noelix Media and shared content in Spanish that was disparaging of politicians and political parties in Costa Rica and Salvador. Our findings are consistent with those reported by Meta.

As part of our ongoing investigation into coordinated influence activities linked to China, we shut down 1,546 YouTube channels. The majority of the content on these channels was spammy Chinese content about music, entertainment, and lifestyle. A small percentage of users posted content in Chinese and English about China and US foreign policy. These findings are in line with what we’ve seen in earlier reports.