Iraq’s government has launched an official YouTube channel designed, according to Nouri al-Maliki, to combat the “lies and misleading information in the news” media. The move comes a day after Google honcho Eric Schmidt visited the country promising to put images of Iraq’s national treasures online. The US embassy says the channel will show clips of parliamentary sessions, messages from Iraq’s leaders, and instructional videos on civic participation, notes Reuters.
But Maliki’s comments paint the channel as a mostly political tool, designed to counteract Iraq’s media, which, reveling in its post-Saddam freedom, has been highly critical of his new regime. Comments will be disabled on the videos. But the channel may have little impact; relatively few Iraqis have internet access, and fewer still have enough bandwidth for streaming video.