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    PragerU Sues Google and YouTube, Claims Unlawful Censorship and Discrimination

    PragerU Sues Google and YouTube, Claims Unlawful Censorship and Discrimination

    “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:

    Prager U v. Google, YouTube Complaint by Legal Insurrection on Scribd

    Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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    OldProf2 | October 25, 2017 at 1:01 am

    If a flower shop can be forced to provide flowers for a gay wedding, then it seems that YouTube could be forced to post videos giving viewpoints they dislike as well. Prager U is a Google customer, not an employee, so Google can’t just fire him like they do with an employee who does not accept the company’s “hive mentality.”

      Milhouse in reply to OldProf2. | October 25, 2017 at 3:24 am

      There is no federal law against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and no flower shop has ever been compelled, by any US court or authority, to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding. There are such state or local laws in many places, and florists operating in those locations have so been compelled under those laws. There are very few places where it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of belief or opinion. California happens to be one of those places, so if this were happening in state court your argument would be correct. But for some reason the plaintiffs chose to file in federal court, and that invalidates your analogy.

    I don’t like the idea of “public accommodation” laws that force business owners to serve those they wish not to, but until we can dissemble such laws, we need to use them. YouTube, facebook, and all the rest of social media have become so widespread that they should not have the power to discriminate against political discourse.

      Milhouse in reply to stl. | October 25, 2017 at 3:26 am

      Public accommodation laws do not require businesses to serve all comers. It is perfectly legal to refuse customers on any basis except those specifically listed by law. There are very few places (though CA is one of them) where it’s not lawful to refuse customers because you disagree with their politics.

        heyjoojoo in reply to Milhouse. | October 25, 2017 at 3:33 pm

        “except those specified by law..” which should include political affiliation. Because as it stands, you’re saying that one can discriminate against you legally as long as it’s because one is a conservative.

          Milhouse in reply to heyjoojoo. | October 26, 2017 at 3:32 am

          Why should it include political affiliation, any more than dress, looks, taste in music, hairstyle, or anything else? The basic rule is that a person is entitled to choose with whom he will do business. Federal, state, and local legislators may make exceptions to that rule, but anything they haven’t excepted remains lawful. How else should it be?

          Because as it stands, you’re saying that one can discriminate against you legally as long as it’s because one is a conservative.

          Or socialist. Would you knowingly hire a communist or a nazi? I wouldn’t, and I wouldn’t want the law to force me to do so. Anti-discrimination laws are too intrusive already; let’s not add to them.

      Albigensian in reply to stl. | October 26, 2017 at 10:39 am

      The origin of “public accommodation” laws lies in Jim Crow.

      The justification for declaring that a locally owned-and-operated motel or restaurant was engaged in interstate commerce (and thus subject to federal regulation) was that racial discrimination was so pervasive that the lack of public accommodations for African-Americans impaired their ability to travel and to engage in business.

      I think a pretty good argument can be made that that was the case. The problem with such legal reasoning is, what does one do with such precedents when the justification for them no longer exists?

      If a motel or restaurant were to refuse service to persons based on their race, national origin, etc., the likely result today is that the public would put the business at such a disadvantage that it would fail. But even if it didn’t, would a few rare exceptions impair anyone’s ability to travel or engage in interstate commerce? If not, where is the constitutional basis for federal regulation of such businesses?

    filiusdextris | October 25, 2017 at 11:33 am

    File this one under even bad publicity is good publicity. No chance at winning, but if it makes some people more aware to bias by these giants, it is still a win.

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