Google Deletes 58 YouTube Accounts Associated with Iranian Influence Campaign

After Facebook disclosed comprehensive Iranian and Russian propaganda campaigns on its social network, Google also announced that it has removed around 39 YouTube accounts attached to Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). On 23rd August, Google revealed that it is taking steps to oppose influence campaigns from foreign governments and any kind of election intervention. Facebook recently deleted over more than 600 accounts which have an association with Iran and Russia and was integrating influence campaigns on its platform.

Google’s Senior Vice President of global affairs stated that Google’s Threat Analysis Group is working along with Trust & Safety team and also with the jigsaw division so that they can easily take a note of the Iranian influence campaign.

Google has been working with an independent cybersecurity consultant, FireEye on Iran’s influence campaign across the US social media sites throughout this week. It also seems that Iran is aiming citizens living in the Latin America, UK and also in the Middle East. The full report provided by the FireEye on the distinct Iranian influence operation was also published. FireEye played a significant role to help Facebook and Twitter to spot Iran and Russia-linked state-sponsored accounts. The accounts were barred starting this week.

Walker stated that Google collected evidence which connected the operators of 58 YouTube accounts with Iran. Also, around 6 blogs published on Blogger and 13 Google+ accounts were identified to be politically motivated. The accounts of YouTube produced more than 13000 views. As it is working closely with law enforcement, Google won’t be able to show any evidences to the public.

Google seven stated that anyone who is involved with influence campaign and tries to violate the policy if Google would be handled strictly. The content would be removed and the account would be suspended. It have introduced IP blocking so that’s no individual or organization from Iran can create advertising accounts.

Google also removed state-sponsored phishing attacks which were aimed at political campaigns, activists, journalists, and academics based not only in the US but also globally. In this effort, Google’s automated system is helping to reduce the extent of phishing attacks so that it doesn’t make its way to the inbox of a gullible user. It announced that they are notifying users and law enforcement about fishy emails that can be a part of an influence campaign.


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