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Google shuts down nearly 60 accounts linked to Iran's state broadcaster

Image source: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Google has shut down nearly 60 accounts linked to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, Iran's state broadcaster, the company announced in a blog post Thursday.

Google disabled 39 YouTube accounts, along with six blogs on Blogger, and 13 Google-plus accounts, according to Senior Vice President of Global Affairs Kent Walker.

"We identified and terminated a number of accounts linked to the IRIB organization that disguised their connection to this effort, including while sharing English-language political content in the U.S.," Walker wrote.

In addition to the Iranian linked accounts, the company also closed 42 YouTube accounts connected to Internet Research Agency, a company with ties to Russia.

The announcement came on the heels of similar announcements from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, which shut down hundreds of accounts associated with foreign actors spreading propaganda on the platforms, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

Facebook, alone, said it took down 652 pages, groups, and accounts being run by the Iranian state media, WHAS-TV reported.

FireEye, a California-based cybersecurity firm that works in conjunction with Google's internal security team, identified the accounts.

"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," Walker wrote.

Executives from Google, Facebook, and Twitter are scheduled to testify Sept. 5 before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Bloomberg reported earlier this month. They will be discussing how the platforms plan to stop foreign attempts to influence the midterm elections.

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