Accounts with ties to Iran removed from YouTube

Google deletes 58 accounts with ties to Iran on YouTube and other sites.

Ben Ariel ,


Google announced on Thursday it deleted 58 accounts with ties to Iran on YouTube, its video platform, as well as on other sites, The Washington Post reported.

The new removals targeted 39 channels on YouTube, which had more than 13,000 views in the United States, as well as 13 accounts on the social networking site Google Plus and six accounts on Blogger, its blogging platform, the company said.

Kent Walker, Google’s senior vice president of global affairs, said in a post on his blog that each of the accounts had ties to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), which is tied to Iran’s ayatollah regime, and that they “disguised their connection to this effort.”

Google’s announcement came days after Facebook suspended hundreds of accounts on its site and photo-sharing app Instagram that originated in Iran as well as Russia, and Twitter made a similar move.

Google also revealed Thursday it took down 42 additional channels on YouTube that had ties to the Russian government’s online troll army, the Internet Research Agency, since the company testified to Congress in November.

Facebook had acted on a tip from the cybersecurity firm FireEye, which later shared its findings with Google and Twitter, according to The Washington Post. In response, Google briefed law enforcement officials as well as congressional investigators about its findings on Thursday, the company said.

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced it had found evidence of a Russia-backed effort to spoof key websites, including those for conservative think tanks, in an apparent bid to hack into visitors to those pages.

Russia’s foreign ministry later denied Microsoft’s claims and denounced them as a “witch-hunt”.

“It is regrettable that a large international company, which has been working in the Russian market for a long time, quite actively and successfully has to take part in a witch-hunt that has engulfed Washington,” the ministry said in a statement.