Iran has launched its own video-sharing website to compete with Google’s YouTube, whose content is deemed inappropriate by the Islamic regime, state television reported Sunday.
The website, “Mehr”, meaning “affection” in Farsi, aims to attract Persian-speaking users while promoting Iranian culture.
“From now on, people can upload their short films on the website and access (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting) produced material,” said IRIB deputy chief Lotfollah Siahkali, according to AFP.
The regime has been attempting to block its population from accessing a number of foreign websites that authorities believe are offensive to Islamic values, including popular social networking sites Facebook and Twitter, as well as the online pages of many Western media outlets and blogs.
The United States has long accused Iran of seeking to implement an “electronic curtain” to cut its citizens off from the international community and global advancement.
The announcement came amid recent steps by the Islamic republic to establish a walled-off national Internet separate from the worldwide Internet, prompting web users in Iran to circumvent the censorship through the use of software known as a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which remains illegal in Iran.