back to article Google slays thousands of fake news vids posted by pro-China group Dragonbridge

Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) has burned more than 50,000 spammy fake news stories and other content posted by the pro-China 'Dragonbridge' gang. Dragonbridge ran disinformation campaigns across Google-owned platforms YouTube, Blogger and AdSense. Meta and Twitter have also removed fake content from China that looks and …

  1. Archivist


    I don't think censorship is a good thing. In a world where people long for free speech, this sounds counter-productive.

    Sure their narrative may seem or be false but how much should one believe random Youtube channels anyway?

    1. John Stirling

      Re: Censorship

      Lots of things which are bad in isolation (censorship) turn out to be necessary at some level.

      Lots of things which are generally beneficial (free speech) are problematic when taken to extremes.

      Freedom is good. Using that freedom to murder those around you is bad. Law is the compromise between freedom and tyranny.

      speech is a specific form of action, which for some reason many people think should be 'freer' than action. But ultimately why should you be any freer to legally incite my death (as a simple example) than you are to murder me?

      All 'real world' crimes have their speech analogy. This seems, according to the article, roughly analogous to fraud. People are genuinely unable to tell the difference between truth and lies - because their sensory model was developed tens of thousands of years ago, and any upgrades to deal with digital environments are not yet in the firmware, but are purely software, and buggy.

      So 'censorship' is necessary because otherwise these people, who are convinced of lies, will do terrible things, and people will die and suffer as a consequence.

      Is that a lesser of two evils type thing? Yes of course. Does it make censorship good? No. Just a lesser of two evils.

    2. bo111

      Re: Censorship - Oh, really?

      Does US or UK have official channels on China's streaming platforms? China has official YouTube channels, like CGTN with 2 billion views.

      Besides, why do you need 100k accounts other than propaganda or spam? Even from the environmental point of view and considerable cost to host all this crap.

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: Censorship - Oh, really?

        Of course, "back in the day", the US and UK (and others both state and private - I used to know someone who worked on the Seychelles-based transmitters of the Christian Far East Broadcasting Association) erected mahoosive shortwave aerials on friendly territory nearby and blasted megawatts of RF propaganda towards countries whose populations "needed educating". One thing you could say is that the internet has democratised that. It does lead to sad stories such as the closure of the BBC Arabic service after 85 years though.


  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    does it make a sound?

    or does it earn you a dime. Or ten.

    1. NoneSuch Silver badge

      Re: does it make a sound?

      Deleting false narratives with blurred truths (lies) is not censorship. It's the foundation of free speech. "An informed electorate" being the key to a solid democracy.

      Both sides lied during the BREXIT debate and look where we are today.

      Now all they need to do is take on FOX News.

      1. Alumoi Silver badge

        Re: does it make a sound?

        An informed electorate may be good for democracy but it is very bad for the politicians.

        As for the attempt to discredit the politicians, I don't think we need trolls for that, they're doing just fine by themselves.

  3. Jaybus

    Must have a lot of free time

    Awfully prolific for such a group. You don't think they're state sponsored do you? Well, pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Must have a lot of free time

      Most Chinese propaganda is not designed to effectively convince viewers in other countries. It's designed to make the Chinese boss *think* we must be doing a good job convincing viewers in other countries, so as to get a promotion or whatever. Now they've pointed out the low viewer count, I predict fake viewers coming next.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good for pointing that finger, now ...

    how about those three fingers pointing back at you?

  5. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

    Free speech query

    Silicon valley claims it is free speech when they post self-harm stuff to the Internet for children to see. Then they lobby against efforts in the UK to make it illegal and jailworthy. But China is not allowed a whisper.

  6. random boffin

    I love all the screams of "censorship" when corporate advertising/surveillance platforms block content. News flash: it's not censorship when it is not a "public square" & the company takes responsibility for not propagating b.s. content.

    1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

      That depends upon whether or not said corporation is trying to be a town square, soapbox kind of organization. If you sell widgets and someone posts advertisements for gadgets on your site then by all means remove it. But, if you're a service to let people speak to the world then no, you shouldn't be censoring anything unless the speech advocates a crime. Different viewpoints should not be censored, discussions about how to sell stolen car parts should be as stealing car parts is against the law.

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