“This is speech discrimination plain and simple, censorship based entirely on unspecified ideological objection to the message or on the perceived identity and political viewpoint of the speaker”
PragerU, an online purveyor of educational videos run by its namesake, Dennis Prager, filed a complaint against Google and YouTube Monday. The complaint alleges unlawful censorship and discrimination of first amendment rights.
YouTube, which is a subsidiary of Google, has on numerous occasions censored PragerU videos. Often, restricted or demonetized videos aren’t even what most would consider controversial subject matter, but offers opinions from a conservative point of view. “Why America Must Lead,” “The Ten Commandments: Do Not Murder,” “Why Did America Fight the Korean War,” and “The World’s Most Persecuted Minority: Christians” have all been dinged by YouTube.
Just weeks ago, former Dirty Jobs host turned skilled worker spokesman was shocked to find a video he’d done in conjunction with PragerU had received the YouTube ban hammer. The video? “Don’t Follow Your Passion“.
“Is it possible that YouTube has determined that the IDEAS expressed in my speech are inappropriate for people under 18 – The precise audience that most needs to hear this message? The answer appears to be yes,” Rowe wrote on his public Facebook page.
Dennis Prager agrees:
“Watch any one of our videos and you’ll immediately realize that Google/YouTube censorship is entirely ideologically driven. For the record, our videos are presented by some of the finest minds in the Western world, including four Pulitzer Prize winners, former prime ministers, and professors from the most prestigious universities in America.
They are engaging in an arbitrary and capricious use of their ‘restricted mode’ and ‘demonetization’ to restrict non-left political thought. Their censorship is profoundly damaging because Google and YouTube own and control the largest forum for public participation in video-based speech in not only California, but the United States, and the world.”
“Google and YouTube use restricted mode filtering not to protect younger or sensitive viewers from ‘inappropriate’ video content, but as a political gag mechanism to silence PragerU. Google and YouTube do this not because they have identified video content that violates their guidelines or is otherwise inappropriate for younger viewers, but because PragerU is a conservative nonprofit organization that is associated with and espouses the views of leading conservative speakers and scholars,” said Eric George of Browne George Ross, the firm representing PragerU.
PragerU will have to successfully establish Google and YouTube function as public forums for a court to treat them as a public entity in violation of the first amendment, which is what PragerU argues in the complaint. But in an age where everything conservative is maligned or actively censored from privately owned, but public internet real estate, I’m glad PragerU is fighting back, regardless of the outcome.
Full complaint here:
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