Google terminated 39 YouTube channels linked to Iran state Broadcasting

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The Middle East Eye reports that Google on Thursday said that it had identified and terminated 39 YouTube channels linked to state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting. Google has also removed 39 YouTube channels and six blogs on Blogger and 13 Google+ accounts.

“In recent months, we’ve detected and blocked attempts by state-sponsored actors in various countries to target political campaigns, journalists, activists, and academics located around the world,” Google said in a blog post. “Our technical research has identified evidence that these actors are associated with the IRIB, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting,” Google added.

On Tuesday, Facebook Inc, Twitter Inc and Alphabet Inc collectively removed hundreds of accounts tied to an alleged Iranian propaganda operation. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said: “We believe these pages, groups and accounts were part of two sets of campaigns.”

“First a set of activity from Iran, including some with ties to state-owned media, and second a set of activity that the US government and others have publicly linked to Russian military intelligence services,” he added. Google, which had engaged cyber-security firm FireEye Inc to provide the company with intelligence, said it has detected and blocked attempts by “state-sponsored actors” in recent months.

FireEye said it has suspected an “influence operation” that appears to originate from Iran, aimed at audiences in the United States, the UK, Latin America, and the Middle East.

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