YouTube logo at the YouTube Space LA in Playa Del Rey, Los Angeles, California, United States October 21, 2015.

YouTube Deletes Iranian Foreign Ministry Account

Tuesday, 05/28/2024

YouTube has removed the account of Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the release of a video against Israel.

According to state media, the video entitled "Resistance, the Only Option for Palestine," called for "punishment of Israel", Iran's archenemy. Iran currently supports multiple Palestinian terror groups including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Lion's Den, in its bid to destroy the Jewish state. 

While Iran denies a direct role in the ongoing war in Gaza, triggered by Iran-backed Hamas's October 7 atrocities killing 1,200 mostly civilians, it has long armed, trained and funded the group proscribed by countries including the UK and US. 

The YouTube deletion is part of a broader trend where major social media platforms have acted against accounts linked to Iran for violations related to spreading disinformation and breaking platform rules. 

In 2020, YouTube, owned by Google, removed the British account of Iran's Press TV after it was exposed by Britain's The Times for engaging in anti-Israeli propaganda. In addition, in 2018, Google eliminated tens of Iran-linked accounts across its platforms, including YouTube, Blogger, and Google+, for disguising their affiliations while sharing political content in the US.

Further actions include Twitter's July 2019 suspension of several accounts affiliated with Iranian state media such as the country's supreme leader, who has since been reinstateddue to policy violations. Ali Khamenei among others remains a vocal user of Twitter in spite of calls for his removal. 

Instagram also took measures in April 2019 by blocking accounts of Iranian leaders and commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), following the US designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organization. 

The Iranian government has also engaged in crackdowns on internet freedom. In the wake of the nationwide protests following the death in custody of Mahsa Amini in 2022, Iran has blocked access to thousands of websites and platforms including WhatsApp and Instagram, in an attempt to control the flow of information and quell dissent.

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