“Not only have the companies been blocked, but also those of our experts and contributors, this is a media dictatorship.”
Iranian owned HispanTV has been censored from Youtube for the third time via its parent company, Google.
Another Iranian outlet, PressTV, has also suffered the same fate. U.S. tech giant Google has been consistently blocking these outlets. Both HispanTV and PressTV provide coverage critical of U.S. foreign policy in places such as the Middle East and Latin America. Some have raised concerns that this could be part of the U.S. government's package of sanctions against Iran.
Google justified their action against HispanTV by saying, “This account has been disabled due to grave infractions or repeated violations of YouTube policy related to spam, false content and practices, or other infractions of the the terms of service.”
HispanTV state that they have not violated any regulations and have not received notice specifying which rules they allegedly broke. Both outlets were first blocked from Google on April 19 in an action that the Islamic Republic of Iranian Broadcasting group (IRIB) has called “a media dictatorship.”
It has also made their past work harder to find. British journalist Ahmed Kaballo who was in Venezuela covering the ongoing coup for PressTV, has reported that his work is being hidden on social media.
He wrote on twitter: “Since @PressTV's YouTube account was taken down by Google (the same time Facebook took down @MashiRafael's account & Assange was arrested.) It's become harder to search for my interview with Venezuelan Foreign Minister @jaarreaza. Please resist the censorship & retweet.” Kaballo was one of a small number of journalists on the ground in Caracas providing live coverage that gave a platform to Venezuelans critical of the U.S.-backed coup.
“Not only have the companies been blocked, but also those of our experts and contributors, this is a media dictatorship,” said IRIB’s Peyman Yebeli.
HispanTV’s Youtube channel contains exclusive interviews with a number of Latin American presidents, as well as original documentaries. The company stated on their website, “Looking at Youtube’s website, we see that Google defines as one of its fundamental values, as giving a voice to all and guaranteeing freedom of expression, something in total contradiction with the censorship it exercises against independent media outlets that use its platform.”