Iran launches YouTube-like video-sharing site

Summary:Country has unveiled its own version of YouTube for government-approved content, in line with its wider plans to build a domestic Internet.

Iran has unveiled a video-sharing Web site for Persian speakers which may be part of its wider plan to build a national intranet separate from the world wide Web.

Newswire AFP reported Sunday that the Web site which is called "Mehr", meaning affection in Farsi, targets Persian-speaking users around the world and aims to promote the Iranian culture.

Iran's video sharing site Mehr
Iran's video sharing site Mehr (source: mehr.ir)

AFP said the Web site competes against Google's YouTube which has content that the Iranian regime has labeled as inappropriate. PCMag reported that Mehr only shows government-approved videos.

On the topic of Mehr, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) deputy chief Lotfollah Siahkali said: "From now on, people can upload their short films on the Web site and access [IRIB] produced material."

The report noted that Iran has consistently censored YouTube since mid-2009. The country has been shutting down access to several foreign Internet as it tries to set up a national intranet. In September, it cut off access to Google's search and e-mail services which was believed to be in retaliation for the Internet giant hosting an anti-Islamic video on YouTube.

The government moved its e-government services offline in early August to protect against cyberattacks. It was planning to move its e-government services to its national intranet but experts said such a move is "tricky" as it will limit the accessibility to such services for citizens.

Topics: Censorship, Government

About

The only journalist in the team without a Western name, Yun Qing hails from the mountainy Malaysian state, Sabah. She currently covers the hardware and networking beats, as well as everything else that falls into her lap, at ZDNet Asia. Her RSS feed includes tech news sites and most of the Cheezburger network. She is also a cheapskate mas... Full Bio

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