FarsiTube

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FarsiTube (The Persian Video Community) is an online video-sharing community targeted towards Iranians and Iranian Americans. It was launched on November 3, 2006 with a viral marketing campaign through social networking sites Facebook, MySpace, and Orkut. The site features a number of video categories, including music videos, comedy, entertainment, people, places, political, news, classics, TV shows, and full-length movies, as well as the standard interactivity features, including comments, subscriptions, friends, messaging, and more.

Contents

Content

FarsiTube's videos are user-submitted, although moderated. Currently the site features videos in both Persian and English, with appeal towards Iranian-American youth built on humorous clips such as "Typical Persian Dad," which satirize Iranian culture from a westernized perspective, as well as the more politically-active youth living in Iran.

While the bulk of FarsiTube's traffic comes from humorous videos, it also features a number of full-length Iranian films such as "Maxx," "Under the Peach Tree," and "Persian Wedding." In addition, political and topical news clips are available, including documentaries about Iran, the recent nuclear controversies, and numerous videos humorously mocking President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. There is also a large number of Persian music videos.

Controversy over Saddam Hussein Execution Video

FarsiTube was one of the first websites to post the unedited Saddam Hussein hanging video, recorded by a cell phone camera. FarsiTube came under fire for posting the video, because most media outlets at the time had embargoed the unedited video. The video has since spread considerably, but FarsiTube was included in numerous criticisms for initially posting the video.

Most Viewed Videos

The top videos in terms of views gives an interesting perspective to the dichotomy of the target audience of FarsiTube. On one hand, Iranian-American youth born and raised in America traffic the humorous clips satirizing Iranian culture. The "Typical Persian" series of videos, created by three Iranian-American youths in Los Angeles, mocks the veracity of Iranian parents and their handling of cultural issues such as dating, school, and MySpace, and are some of the most viewed videos on the site. On the other hand, the youth living in Iran post and view videos mocking other ethnic cultures such as Arabs, as well as viewing and linking to videos demonstrating the current political climate in Iran.

Recent Publicity

Traffic has increased exponentially after being discovered by the vast Iran-based blogosphere. A link was first featured on Sobhaneh.org, and was later followed by a link from GlobalVoicesOnline.org, a large progressive blog covering Iranian affairs. That day, FarsiTube founder and former webmaster Sherwin Noorian was interviewed by Radio Farda, a Persian-language radio station backed by the United States, and broadcast over the internet and satellite to America, Europe, and Iran. The site has been embraced by the Iranian youth as a medium of expression and education regarding the vast political issues the country is experiencing.

Accessibility in Iran

Due to the nature of political videos available on the site, FarsiTube has been blocked by the Iranian government once in the past. It was removed from the block list within 36 hours, however, the site continues to be threatened with a potential permanent blocking of access through Iranian internet providers.

Downtime & Acquisition

On June 29, 2007, the site was defaced and the videos were deleted by a hacker. The video site was down for over two months, while the music and forum sites remained active. The company was subsequently sold to a private company in August 2007 and rebuilt.

External links

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