ChinaDecember 22 2023, 3:35 am

Widespread AI-Driven Pro-China Propaganda on YouTube Exposed

On 18 Decem­ber 2023, The Con­ver­sa­tion report­ed that the Aus­tralian Strate­gic Pol­i­cy Insti­tute (ASPI) uncov­ered “Oper­a­tion Shad­ow Play,” a net­work of about 30 YouTube chan­nels with approx­i­mate­ly 730,000 sub­scribers, respon­si­ble for dis­sem­i­nat­ing pro-Chi­na pro­pa­gan­da. This net­work, which has col­lec­tive­ly post­ed around 4,500 videos gar­ner­ing about 120 mil­lion views, uses gen­er­a­tive AI tech­nol­o­gy to pro­duce and pub­lish con­tent. This strat­e­gy exploits YouTube’s algo­rithm to enhance vis­i­bil­i­ty and influ­ence pub­lic opin­ion in the Eng­lish-speak­ing world. Despite uncer­tain­ties about the oper­a­tion’s con­trollers, like­ly Man­darin-speak­ing, their pro­file does not match any known state actor in online influ­ence oper­a­tions, sug­gest­ing a com­mer­cial enti­ty with poten­tial state direc­tion. This devel­op­ment high­lights the rapid evo­lu­tion of advanced influ­ence oper­a­tions and their chal­lenge to exist­ing defens­es against such tactics.



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