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58 accounts have been removed from YouTube and other sites due to connections with Iran

58 accounts have been removed from YouTube and other sites due to connections with Iran

As part of an effort to remove accounts known for releasing false information and creating a state of turmoil, Google has deactivated 58 accounts on various sites owned by the company.

Google’s senior vice president of global affairs, Kent Walker explained in a post that, “actors engaged in this type of influence operation violate our policies, and we swiftly remove such content from our services and terminate these actors' accounts."

In addition to this, he also wrote "Additionally, we use a number of robust methods, including IP blocking, to prevent individuals or entities in Iran from opening advertising accounts."

Influence operations

The accounts in question consist of almost 40 YouTube channels, alongside half a dozen blogs on Blogger and 13 accounts on networking platform Google+. A total of over 13k views across all the YouTube channels were traced to viewers located in the United States.

Cybersecurity group FireEye, along with other security agencies have also been working to identify questionable actions on the various Google sites. US legislators, US police forces and other companies within the industry have been made aware of the observations that have took place.

Research teams within Google have pinpointed information that the actors involved are related to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). Data that has been discovered has been heavily related to an official IP address in the IRIB’s space.

Towards the end of the official blog post, Walker said “Our investigations on these topics are ongoing and we will continue to share our findings with law enforcement and other relevant government entities in the U.S. and elsewhere, as well as with others in the industry.”


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