Breakfast Briefing: Five things for PR pros to know Friday morning

Google stops Chinese disinformation; Spokesperson for Homeland Security head quits; Overstock CEO quits; Facebook bans Epoch Times ads; Samsung sponsors Girl With No Job.

Google shut down 210 YouTube accounts it says were used by China to disrupt the Hong Kong democracy movement. In a blog post, the company said the accounts were killed after it noticed activity that "behaved in a coordinated manner while uploading videos related to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. This discovery was consistent with recent observations and actions related to China announced by Facebook and Twitter." Earlier this week, Twitter and Facebook also shut down accounts it believed were part of a Chinese disinformation campaign. (TechCrunch)

Andrew Meehan, spokesperson for Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, has quit. Axios reports he resigned, in part, because White House comms staff were angry that Homeland Security unveiled a policy proposal at the Ronald Reagan building, not somewhere more prominent like the White House. The policy is meant to reverse the Flores agreement, the court ruling that stops the government from detaining minors with their parents for longer than 20 days. The Ronald Reagan building is the location of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol's D.C. office.

Overstock’s CEO Patrick Byrne quit Thursday just over a week after making public statements about the deep state. CNBC reports that trading of Overstock’s shares were halted on the news, but then grew as much as 17% before closing yesterday up 8.3%. "In July I came forward to a small set of journalists regarding my involvement in certain government matters. Doing so was not my first choice, but I was reminded of the damage done to our nation for three years and felt my duty as a citizen precluded me from staying silent any longer," Byrne said. "Though patriotic Americans are writing me in support, my presence may affect and complicate all manner of business relationships, from insurability to strategic discussions regarding our retail business."

Facebook permanently banned The Epoch Times ads for violating its policies. NBC News reports that The Epoch Times had apparently tried to hide it was connected to $2 million worth of ads touting Trump and promoting conspiracy theories about his political opponents. Facebook’s policy is that ads must have disclaimers accurately representing the name of the ad's sponsors.

Samsung is sponsoring influencer Claudia Oshry, known online as Girl With No Job, even though she had to quit hosting a past daily web show for writing anti-Muslim posts. According to Page Six, Oshry is posting on behalf of Samsung Mobile. Last year, Verizon Oath stopped supporting Oshry’s, and her sister Jackie’s show because of comments like this now deleted 2014 tweet: "I can’t but feel like I’m funding terrorism when I take a cab."

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