Lawsuit alleging YouTube censored conservative videos dismissed


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A U.S. district judge in California has ruled in favor of Google, dismissing a lawsuit alleging the tech giant censored politically conservative content uploaded to its YouTube subsidiary.

Prager University (PragerU), a nonprofit media group run by conservative author and radio talk show host Dennis Prager, failed to prove that Google unlawfully censored or unlawfully infringed on freedom of speech, according to U.S. District Judge Judy Koh.

Koh wrote, “The Court finds that Plaintiff’s complaint should be dismissed for failure to state any federal claims . . .”

As a private company, Google isn’t bound to the same First Amendment obligations to protect “public forums,” according to the ruling. PragerU argued that YouTube’s ubiquity has made it de facto public forum.

The Court did not address any state claims specifically because all of PragerU’s federal claims had already been rejected. Prager’s legal team has thirty days to address the identified deficiencies in the case before the claims are dismissed with prejudice.

The lawsuit was filed last year after Prager found over 40 of his organization’s videos listed as “restricted” or “demonetized.” Restricted content comes with age restrictions, while demonetized content is blocked from receiving advertisements.

The videos in question portray topics such as abortion, U.S. foreign policy, and Islam through what the lawsuit describes as a “conservative point of view.”

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Reuters reports that a spokesperson from YouTube said, “PragerU’s videos weren’t excluded from Restricted Mode because of politics or ideology.” Parent company Google has stated its decisions are made to promote a space that’s “safe and enjoyable for all users.”

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