PragerU, a Conservative content creation outlet founded by Dennis Prager back in 2011, is suing YouTube and Google for unfairly censoring their videos on YouTube and for infringing on their First Amendment rights.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the lawsuit postulates that YouTube is unfairly targeting Conservative voices, citing examples of how certain topics were labeled with the “Restricted Mode”, which prevents users from seeing the videos when that mode is turned on, and how those same topics from other channels such as Al Jazeera and the Daily Show were not put under “Restricted Mode”. In fact, the Wall Street Journal even noted that one of their own contributors who made content for PragerU had her video tossed under “Restricted Mode” even though she was covering topics that other channels covered that weren’t put under “Restricted Mode”.
The thing about that particular mode is that oftentimes schools and parents turn it on so that viewers can’t access content placed under that filter.
In an e-mail exchange with PragerU, a YouTube representative claimed that some of the videos weren’t “appropriate for younger audiences”.
The suit fired back by stating…
“Google/YouTube uses their restricted mode filtering not to protect younger or sensitive viewers from ‘inappropriate’ video content, but as a political gag mechanism to silence PragerU,”
Former California governor Pete Wilson is representing PragerU in the lawsuit, adding that this is more of an attack from YouTube and Google on Conservative views rather than a filter designed to protect younger audiences. Wilson told the Wall Street Journal…
“Just as on many college campuses, there has been a refusal to allow conservatives to speak,” […] “They have incredible reach, and that really sets them apart from almost any other entity.”
The suit claims that YouTube is also utilized as a public forum, and therefore it should abide by the rules of the First Amendment.
Many on the Left (and a few on the Right) have argued that Google is a tech company not owned or operated by the government and therefore free speech laws don’t apply.
The debate about Google’s responsibility to free speech heightened recently after the company applied Limited State Content policies to YouTube, which further restricted access and search affinity for topics that were deemed “hateful” or “supremacist”.
Not only that, but Google also applied demonetization blacklists across YouTube, affecting a large variety of YouTube outlets, many of whom were Right of center or Conservative content creators.
Google nor YouTube’s community team have ever addressed the accusations of biased censorship being handed down across the site. Many noted that majority of the channels affected by the censorial content policies seemed to either be anti-SJW, Conservative, or highly critical of Liberal politics.
Google is also facing lawsuits from feminists who claimed that the company took part in gender wage discrimination, and they’re also facing yet another lawsuit from Gab.ai for anti-trust violations relating to anti-competitive measures taken against their company.