Updates from Threat Analysis Group (TAG)
Threat Analysis Group

TAG Bulletin: Q4 2020



This bulletin includes coordinated influence operation campaigns terminated on our platforms in Q4 2020. It was last updated on January 26, 2021.

October

  • We terminated 12 YouTube channels as part of our ongoing investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to Russia. This campaign uploaded content in Russian supporting the Russian military and criticizing U.S. military involvement in Japan. We received leads from Facebook that supported us in this investigation.

  • We terminated 2 YouTube channels as part of our investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to Myanmar. This domestic campaign posted content focused on elections and supporting the Union Solidarity and Development Party, (USDP). This campaign was consistent with similar findings reported by Facebook.

  • We terminated 35 YouTube channels as part of our investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to Azerbaijan. This domestic campaign was linked to the New Azerbaijan Party and posted content supporting the Azerbaijani government and promoting Azerbaijani nationalism. This campaign was consistent with similar findings reported by Facebook.

  • We terminated 26 YouTube channels and 1 blog as part of our ongoing investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to Russia. This campaign uploaded content primarily in Russian and included news clips and military videos supporting the Russian government. We received leads from the FBI that supported us in this investigation. This campaign was consistent with similar findings reported by Facebook.

  • We terminated 2 YouTube channels as part of our ongoing investigation into a coordinated influence operation linked to Iran. This campaign uploaded content in Farsi and Arabic that was critical of the Saudi government. 

  • We terminated 7,479 YouTube channels as part of our ongoing investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to China. These channels mostly uploaded spammy content in Chinese about music, entertainment, and cooking. A very small subset uploaded content in English about U.S. protests and ongoing wildfires. We received leads from FireEye and Graphika that supported us in this investigation. These findings are consistent with our previous reports in the Q2 and Q3 TAG bulletins.

November

  • We terminated 10 YouTube channels as part of our ongoing investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to Russia. This campaign uploaded content in Ukrainian about current events in Ukraine and critical of President Zelensky and former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

  • We terminated 22 YouTube channels as part of our ongoing investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to Indonesia. This domestic campaign posted content supporting the Indonesian government.

  • We terminated 2 YouTube channels and 1 blog as part of our ongoing investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to Iran. This campaign posted content in Arabic about the Syrian civil war and critical of U.S. foreign policy. We received leads from the FBI that supported us in this investigation.

  • We terminated 3 YouTube channels as part of our ongoing investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to Iran. This campaign posted content in English, Hebrew, and Arabic supporting anti-government protests in Israel. This campaign was consistent with similar findings reported by Facebook.

  • We terminated 9 YouTube channels as part of our investigation into a coordinated influence operation linked to Egypt. This campaign posted content in Arabic supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood and critical of Israel and Saudi Arabia. This campaign was consistent with similar findings reported by Facebook.

  • We terminated 6 YouTube channels as part of our ongoing investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to Iran. This campaign posted content in Farsi and Dari about current events and included some content that misrepresented itself as Turkish and Afghan news outlets. This campaign was consistent with similar findings reported by Facebook. 

  • We terminated 1 YouTube channel as part of our ongoing investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to Myanmar. This domestic campaign was linked to the Arakan Army and posted content that misrepresented itself as local news. This campaign was consistent with similar findings reported by Facebook.

  • We terminated 3,407 YouTube channels as part of our ongoing investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to China. These channels mostly uploaded spammy content in Chinese about music, entertainment, and cooking. A very small subset uploaded content in Chinese and English about the U.S. response to COVID-19 and social unrest in the U.S. We received leads from Graphika that supported us in this investigation. These findings are consistent with our previous reports in the Q2 and Q3 TAG bulletins.

December

  • We terminated 1 YouTube channel and 1 advertising account as part of our ongoing investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to Russia. This campaign uploaded content in Russian critical of the Ukrainian government.

  • We terminated 1 blog as part of our investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to Argentina. The campaign uploaded content in Spanish that was critical of an Ecuadorian member of parliament.

  • We terminated 5 YouTube channels and 2 blogs as part of our ongoing investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to Russia. This campaign uploaded content in Arabic about current events in the Middle East and North Africa. This campaign was consistent with similar findings reported by Facebook.

  • We terminated 3 YouTube channels as part of our investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to France. This campaign uploaded content in French that was supportive of the French government and critical of the Russian government. The campaign targeted the Central African Republic and Mali. This campaign was consistent with similar findings reported by Facebook.

  • We terminated 34 YouTube channels as part of our ongoing investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to Myanmar. This domestic campaign uploaded content about the Myanmar elections, regional conflicts, and current events related to the U.S., China, and Malaysia.

  • We terminated 3,317 YouTube channels as part of our ongoing investigation into coordinated influence operations linked to China. These channels mostly uploaded spammy content in Chinese about music, entertainment, and cooking. A very small subset uploaded content in Chinese and English about the U.S. response to COVID-19 and anti-Chinese sentiment in the U.S. We received leads from Graphika and Fireye that supported us in this investigation. These findings are consistent with our previous reports in the Q2 and Q3 TAG bulletins.