Iran Launches YouTube Clone, Sans Anti-Islamic Videos

By Megan O'Neill 

After years of the country blocking its population from sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, yesterday Iran launched its own video-sharing website as an alternative to YouTube.  The site, called Mehr (the Farsi word for “affection”), seeks to do away with anti-Islamic and anti-government content found on YouTube and to promote Islamic and Iranian culture and values.

AFP reports that Lotfollah Siahkali, deputy chief of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), said, “From now on, people can upload their short films on the website and access (IRIB) produced material.”  It is unclear at this time as to how the content uploaded to the site by users will be censored.

The launch of Mehr comes shortly after Iran announced plans to switch their web-connected population over to a domestic Internet system, cutting them off from the International World Wide Web entirely.

Reuters reported that “Iran has one of the biggest Internet filters of any country in the world, preventing normal Iranians from accessing countless sites on the official grounds that they are offensive or criminal.”

The new system is expected to be implemented by March 2013.  As this date approaches, it will be interesting to see how many other international website clones Iran will launch for it’s population to use on its domestic Internet infrastructure.

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video expert here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.