Iran launches ‘Mehr’, their very own version of YouTube

Iran has launched an alternative to YouTube called ‘Mehr’. Why not just use YouTube with its already well-established amount of cat videos, you ask? That’s because sites like YouTube (and even Facebook) have been banned in the country since 2009, with YouTube being deemed as “inappropriate”.

Mehr, which means affection in Farsi, works pretty much just like YouTube. Users can upload their own videos as well view content from the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, the country’s national broadcaster. The site is geared towards Farsi speakers and is aiming to “advance Iranian culture.” It might be safe to say that you’re not gonna see as much entertainment videos compared to other sites, at least not the usual kind. Censorship might be a problem as well, as this site wouldn’t even exist in the first place if it wasn’t for censorship. Still, it’s definitely better than nothing and Iran is doing good in at least providing an avenue for some creative videos made by their home country.

All those people complaining about YouTube’s redesigns, this is what Iranian users have to deal with. Hopefully Iran has got some cute cats up its sleeves.

[via The Verge]

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5 comments

  1. Arash

    @Ali:

    Ali, u’re not really from Iran, if that matters! :-D. “Mehr” does not mean “compassion” in Persian. “Reqqat: (or shafaqat) means “compassion” in Persian. Mehr is an Islamic-Iranian epithet of the sun during the month of Ramadan. Anyway, wait for the 12th imam al-Mahdi (was born in 868 AD) who is, in accordance with Iranian government, coming soon on the Earth, before Christ, and he will reestablish the rightful governance of Islam on the Earth with divine justice for all, including YouTube.

  2. Ali

    Hi, I live in Iran, and believe me, the Internet SUCKS. Home users are not allowed to use services with speeds of more than 128Kb/s (the minister says that’s enough to download e-books!!! :-D), and that’s the good part. Even if you pass the censorship, you’ll face the sanctions and IP bans: Google Code, Adobe.com, mathworks.com, sourceforge.net are just a few examples.
    Sites like the mentioned Mehr are not new, we’ve had “national” e-mail service, search engine, social network, etc. all now in oblivion. They generally function as: a. a (new) means to control and censor as you mentioned, and b. a (new) way to gobble up national budget. Anyways, IMHO it’s waaay too optimistic to think it’s better than nothing, unless for the government! (I’m currently using Tor with the hope that these sentences won’t cause me any trouble! :-| )
    Sorry for the long talk!
    BTW “Mehr” means compassion in Persian if that matters! :-D