Iran launches YouTube-like video-sharing site

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.

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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

Liau Yun Qing

About Liau Yun Qing

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 masquerading as a group-buying addict.

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  • "If you can't beat them, join them" might be a better approach for Iran.

    Hiding from the world is proof enough that the Iranian regime cannot withstand scrutiny even from its own people.
    And with Assad on the way out -- and perhaps Chavez going before him -- the regime will get lonely. Indeed, the only friend left might be Kim Jong-un.
    In the end, this stubborn, myopic, and anachronistic theocratic regime has succeeded in turning Iran into another North Korea.
    Yet these two countries could just as easily have become economic and technology powerhouses for the good of their people.
    Iran's loss is worse because the regime has foregone its chance to set a new path towards the country's Persian greatness -- not as a military power, but as a technology and industrial leader of the Middle East. This is an impossibility when a country is in deep isolation.
    "If you can't beat them, join them" might be an American proverb, but the Iranian and Korean regimes will be glad when they eventually figure it out.
    kafantaris