Google has eliminated 39 YouTube channels linked to the Iranian state media outlet, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), including Press TV and HispanTV.
HispanTV, the Spanish-language television channel with a large following in the United States and Latin America, announced Friday morning it “cannot, for the moment, upload new content on YouTube.”
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The Google company also blocked Press TV’s ability to use its Youtube account. “Your Google Account was disabled and can’t be restored because it was used in a way that violates Google’s policies,” states in message that appears after Press TV personnel try to log into the company’s account, reports the outlet from its own website.
Relations between the U.S. and Iranian governments have increased even more over the past two weeks as the U.S. declared the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a terrorist group and Iran put U.S. forces in the region on a terrorist watch list.
The HispanTV’s Youtube channel currently has more than 243,000 subscribers.
This isn’t the first time Iranian channels have been censured by the U.S.-based Internet giant.
social network users condemn the blocking of @HispanTV and @PressTV access to their YouTube accounts and ask for the end of the #Google monopoly. #CensuraAHispanTV
Last August, HispanTV and its offshoots, HispanTV Programas, HispanTV Documentales and HispanTV Films and Series were prohibited from publishing content on Youtube. The same scenario occurred in mid-2017 and Press TV was censored in 2013 by Youtube.
The IRIB denounced the sweeping acts of censorship saying Youtube is, "stifling independent media" in a way that amounts to a "political scandal."
Google Vice President Kent Walker said of the company’s doing away with the Iranian sites and those supportive of IRIB: "We identified and terminated a number of accounts linked to the IRIB organization that had disguised their connection to this effort." Google also took down “six blogs on its Blogger service and 13 Google+ accounts linked with Iran,” reported Press TV.
The IRIB and its affiliates are known for covering Israel's occupation of Palestine and are critical of U.S. foreign policy.
“#HispanTv @HispanTv tells the truth of what is happening in the Middle East, Latin America and the whole world that is why it is blocked and the cables eliminate it from its programming grids to favor the right-wing media and hide the truth of the world"
“#HispanTv @HispanTv tells the truth of what is happening in the Middle East, Latin America and the whole world that is why it is blocked and the cables eliminate it from its programming grids to favor the right-wing media and hide the truth of the world,” tweeted fan @descalona2 Friday morning.
Iranian authorities have continually spoken out about Google’s censorship tendencies. IRIB World Service said Saturday it “always promises to be the voice of the voiceless” and that their being blocked on the Internet constitutes a flagrant "violation of freedom of expression and the free flow of information."
Posts made by HispanTV and Press TV previous to their April 19 censoring are still available for viewing.