PragerU v. YouTube

The most important lawsuit in America right
now – and perhaps the free world – is Prager University vs. YouTube. You might consider this a grandiose statement,
especially since I’m the lead attorney for PragerU. I assure you, it’s not. That’s because this case is about the most
fundamental freedom Americans have: freedom of speech as enunciated in the First Amendment
to the United States Constitution. All our freedoms – the very concept of freedom
– springs from this right. Lose it and we’re no longer free – not
as individuals and not as a nation. I’m not willing to accept that. PragerU doesn’t accept that. And you shouldn’t either. Okay, so how did we get into this situation? A little background. PragerU is what is called a 501(c)(3) — a
non-profit educational media company. It’s known primarily for its five-minute
videos. In 2016, viewers began to notice that certain
PragerU videos were no longer available. YouTube had placed them on its “Restricted
List,” which prevents the videos from playing on computers using content filters to screen
out violence and pornography. PragerU assumed this was simply a case of
“bad algorithms.” But YouTube said no, each “restricted”
video had been reviewed by a walking/talking human. The list included such diverse titles as,
“Are the Police Racist?” by Heather Mac Donald, “Israel’s Legal Founding” by
Alan Dershowitz, and even a video on the Ten Commandments by Dennis Prager. YouTube deemed each one unsuitable for young
people — treating these videos the same as they do, say, ones containing pornography
or excessive violence. Keep in mind, this is PragerU we’re talking
about — as Main Street as you can get. And that, ultimately, turns out to be the
issue. PragerU’s center-right content – many
of their videos, by the way, have no political theme at all – offends YouTube’s sensibilities. In other words, the videos aren’t being
restricted to protect young people from inappropriate content; they’re being restricted to protect
young people from ideas YouTube disagrees with. We didn’t want to sue; we tried to reach
an accommodation. But when YouTube wouldn’t take the “offending”
videos off their restricted list — there are now 100 on that list — we had no other
option. YouTube was infringing on our right to free
speech. We filed in federal court in late 2017, and
thereafter in California state court. Wait a second, you might say. YouTube, which is owned by Google, is a private
company. Can’t they do anything they want? The answer is: yes and no. Yes, if they are a publisher. No, if they are public forum. So what’s the difference? This gets right to the nub of the matter. A publisher chooses the content that resides
on its site. The New York Times is a perfect example. You can’t write a story and just expect
the New York Times to publish it. The Times chooses what appears on its pages
or website. And if they publish a story that contains
a malicious lie, or violate copyright law, they can be sued. PragerU is also a publisher. It decides what material gets placed on its
website. Most sites are publishers. In contrast, a public forum — which can be
a physical location, like the classic town square or a shopping mall; or a virtual location,
like a website — is a place that must allow individuals and organizations to exercise
their free speech rights. YouTube is an example of a public forum. In fact, YouTube describes itself as a public
forum. You make a video. YouTube hosts it. And anyone with an Internet connection can
watch it. Facebook is also a public forum. And so is Twitter. Here’s why this is so important:
A public forum under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — a law co-sponsored by Democrats
and Republicans and passed by Congress in 1996 — is not subject to liability for content
placed on its site. If someone posts a video about how to build
a bomb or writes a threatening comment, the public forum website cannot be held legally
responsible for that content. That’s a good thing. It gives YouTube and other public forums the
chance to host a wide variety of material, from nature videos to political diatribes,
without fear of being sued. And it worked. And then it didn’t. A few years ago, the social media giants – Google,
Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter – started to behave not like public forums, but like
publishers. They stopped following Section 230, which
specifically requires that these websites promote “a true diversity of political discourse,”
and began to judge content by their own political and social criteria. In other words, the social media giants want
it both ways. They want the protections of a public forum
and the editorial control of a publisher. We’re fine if they’re a publisher. And we’re fine if they’re a public forum. They just can’t be both. If we win our legal action, YouTube will have
to return to the way things were when they started. That’s freedom. But if we lose, YouTube gets to act as a publisher
while pretending to be a public forum. That would mean much less freedom. And then eventually, no freedom. Because the most powerful Internet sites on
earth will determine what you see — and what you don’t. I’m Eric George, Managing Partner, Brown
George Ross, for Prager University.

100 thoughts on “PragerU v. YouTube

  1. Ive flagged videos on youtube that 'are for children' that no one should see and they show up up in my recommended more than they did before… Not even trans or drag situations.

  2. oh boo hoo. most political (from both sides) and religous (from both sides) material is on restricted mode. an optional mode, that you can turn off. they are not "treating your videos the same as they would say… for ones containing pornography or excessive violence"

  3. Can you compel YouTube to allow the uncensored Kim Kardashian sex tape? Can you compel Porn Hub to allow Pat Robertson to scream about the perversions and detrimental effects of porn? You are going to lose when it goes to SCotUS, if not before that.

  4. Shut fucken payed off right wing ass kissing toxic asshole's you guys are fucken right wing supporters how bout you stop trying to brainwash the youth of America and go die in a ditch you do know that democracy isn't perfect but it's all we got and your throwing wood into the fire of an already explosive America

  5. I am with you PragerU.

    YouTube allows Zakir Naik talking of killing an apostate/criticising Prophet/Islam on youTube, the video is still there. There are videos of Gazwa-e-Hind which incites war on India are there on YouTube. I reported them to YouTube. NO ACTION WAS TAKEN. THE VIDEOS ARE STILL OUT THERE FOR PUBLIC, POSSIBLY FOR MINORS TOO.

    This hypocrisy of the social media giants can not go on in countries having fundamental rights of freedom of speech.

  6. funny how youtube is this awful censoring machine, yet they leave videos criticizing them alone. Maybe PragerU is making a bigger deal out of this than it is?

  7. I still don't think so. I remember that at least one of them had vilints in the video also people say that kids should not be influenced by politics because it may affect them. kids can be perswaded by almost anything so it is best to make sure that they see it when there not easily proseaded also youtube the company does not have anything to gain from this, yes they say that videos are mainly reviewed but keep in mind that they only see this as none kid-friendly. like I said kids under the age of 13 should not be in politics. even though they may say that it is mainly reviewed but it is not or at least not aczacly you see they first use a faulty algorithm then if you so chose you can get a person to look at the video then after a day or so you will see whether or not you can put it back up. also, youtube is at the mercy of the advertisers as of the addpocalips that was like 2017 so even if they are trying to silence you guys they are not doing it by choice . also there is more then just vilints and porn they are sensering they are also sensering Sexual content
    , Violent or repulsive content, Hateful or abusive content, Harmful dangerous acts, Child abuse, Promotes terrorism, Spam or misleading, Infringes my rights, and Captions issue. this is all in the report button. sorry for misspellings I am in a hurry.

  8. How much money you wanna bet they had videos hidden due to people reporting unfavorably on those “ads” they run constantly. Like a appreciate your enthusiasm, I really do. But I’m trying to watching literally anything else. Your the reason I got an adblocker, next to those damn razor ads.

  9. YouTube and Google are both private companies, and are not subject to the First Amendment. Prager and other conservatives are often defending private companies who discriminate against costumers, especially if it is for religious reasons, like with that damn cake-shop who refused to make a weding-cake for a gay-wedding. So why is it okay for a baking company to deny service to gay-people for religious reasons, but not okay for Google or YouTube to discriminate against conservatives? Talk about hypocrisy.

  10. A lot of YTbers are also victim of this "algorithm" yet Jake and Logan Paul can post obnoxious and violent videos 🤦‍♂️

  11. The general problem here is the almost global misunderstanding what "democracy" means. And it's frightening! Because the phenomenon of "being misinformed about our democratic system" is obviously orchestrated. It's designed! "Someone" (multiple ones of course) is planning this out.

  12. The term "democracy" is obvious.
    "Obvious", however, means that every Western citizen with schooling understands the foundation of democracy itself.
    Obviously, this is no longer the case. What happened? Who is responsible for that? And why have we noticed a drastic negative development of this issue within the last 5 years? What changed?

  13. PragerU wants the government to force YouTube to host content they don’t like? What about freedom of association?

    For an organization claiming to fight for freedom, it doesn’t seem right to me

  14. Oh logic and law has to stand out here does it not? The court Will find the facts are sound and Y.T. will either have to restore the freedoms or they will lose at least a third of their channels…people wont stand for the censoring. It will be a very intereting and hopefully sensible outcome.

  15. Nice and simple argument – too simple. Society and politicians demand YouTube etc act like responsible citizens and prevent the spread of content that can influence mentally ill young men to go on killing sprees. So we do expect that there is some censorship. Clearly PragerU content is not in that category, but nevertheless, it is not helpful to oversimplify the issue. To do so can seem dishonest.

  16. Everyone, left and right, is getting their videos restricted, demonetized, etc. It's a consequence of companies pressuring YouTube to keep it as Family friendly as possible in order to avoid feeling bad about playing their ads. Your Precious free market is doing its job and throwing you under the bus.

  17. You Tube removed a video showing how Hollywood has put most all Male actors into female roles and in female clothes. It shows you when they started their war on masculinity from the black and white screen days. E.G Tony Curtis and Jack Lemon in Women’s clothes to The Rock and Arnold sissified. I burned the video onto my laptop and shared it amongst my friends as they couldn’t find it when they searched for it. YouTube is part of the BEAST SYSTEM that’s seeking to control our minds

  18. Enjoy losing your lawsuit idiots the first amendment does not apply to a private sector company like YouTube against another private individual it only affects government to the private sector. And YouTube age restricted those videos not because of their titles but because of the content because those videos contained lies and propaganda regarding all three of those topics at best they contained obfuscation of the actual topic. And sorry facts don’t care about your feelings.

  19. In Prager U's rush to "exercise" there free speech right, they should take a more "Ian Malcom" approach and ask themselves, "yea I could say this, but should I say this?"

  20. All those vedios which were mentioned in this vedio, i went and checked them and found that i can access them and they are not restricted. Sorry right wingers.

  21. No matter what happens, the algorithm still controls which videos get pushed to the top. They're going to end up being a publisher even if they're ruled a public forum anyway. Most of us will never get promoted to the top, regardless of how good our ideas are or how good our content is. The algorithm just isn't going to "publish" us, which is unfair.

  22. Thank u. We need more people fighting for free speech. My channel has suffered significantly. We need to band together and protect our rights

  23. Prager describes itself as center-right. One might think the response from the “right” would be to create your own version of YouTube were you can post whatever videos you want. Perhaps the “right” is conceding that government regulation of corporations and industries is important.

  24. This is so important. It's not about political inclinations. This is what make us humans. Freedom. It is these concepts that make the free world free. Without it human civilisation will slipped to dark ages. And everyone needs to resist youtube like resisting a dictator

  25. Demonetized! Ya I don’t see utube sending PU a check for this video 🤣 but they will be writing a large check very soon

  26. YouTube is super biased for the left. I typed in Trump accomplishments and the first few videos were negative trump videos by CNN.

  27. There's a terms of service agreement that you must agree to, to use youtube, and it has overtime become more and more strict from incidents like the logan paul thing in japan, that agreement states that you will follow their rules to post stuff on their website

  28. Thank God for Prageru..U-tube has taken to undoing my notification bell..Google is answering my e-mails…Everything is censored but the trash…Judgement is sooo close now…Psalms 119:126 It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void thy law….In a city near you soon…Give them their desires I pray…Revelation 9:5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man….Amen …Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

  29. Satan wants it both ways so he can control and influence what you think. And that is who is influencing most all Democrats and liberals. Without them knowing.

  30. I guess this whole case is a bad present for other youtubers. Cause that could make it so any video can be mass flagged legally or whatever. But, honestly PragerU sucks dick so it could either way.

  31. No, it's not Main Street at all, it is meant to change other people's ideas and provides its own attitude and is a problem!

  32. YouTube should aptly be called a dictatorial forum. And it's getting worse. Thank God finally someone (Prager U) is fighting their insolent treatment.

  33. I’m very confused ppl are uploading videos on how to do meth and they don’t block that but they block you!

  34. So where are all the other sites that are a public forum? It looks to me that there is a monopoly on the system. There used to be so many web browsers just few years ago. Where did they go? It looks to me that when the competition ended the monpoly began picking and choosing.

  35. Freedom of speech effects government facilities and other government run areas, since YouTube is not a government owned or operated tool, technically the free speech right can be bent, and neglected. However it is unjust that they do things like this.

  36. Why not just make your own forum for your shit if you dislike YouTube now this much. When people say they hate this country you tell them to just leave, why don’t you guys practice what you preach.

  37. Hey guess what numb nuts, YouTube is a private company, they can decide who uses it, what they say, and what they do. Why? Because they host the server, they own it. Don't like it? go to a different website. Why? Because you can't have it both ways, you want bakeries to be able to say no to gay wedding cakes? That's great! It's their private company, they own the company! They can go find a different bakery because FREEDOM works both ways. YOU are free to find a different website, YOUTUBE is free to do what they want with their PRIVATE OWNED website. Make your own website if you want the same freedoms.

  38. Ask yourself, why does your videos attract so many antisemitic comments? Ain't it kinda strange there's comments down below that say things like "it's the jews doing this" ?? You people are uneducated Nazi dirtbags, and if you say this to me in person I will not hesitate to punch you square in the mouth. SHAME on PragerU for attracting this crowd of disgusting people.

  39. If YT chooses to be a publisher then someone else, or several someone elses, can become the dominant public forums.

  40. YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter need to stop with their leftist propaganda and bannings/restrictions of right-wing speakers.

  41. as a private company youtube doesn't owe you space to say what you'd like, the first amendment applies to the government's ability to restrict your speech

  42. I personally don’t like or agree with your content, I find that y’all mix religion and politics a bit too much, and your ads are pretty annoying, but YouTube really shouldn’t have the right to filter your videos just because you share a different opinion. Y’all have my support

  43. I saw this shit on an ad and boy I didn't skip it You go PragerU get good old YouTube back for the people plz and ty

  44. While I disagree with most of the opinions amd content on this channel, its still wrong to deny the right to say those opinions.

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