PragerU Sues Google For YouTube’s Injustices

PragerU Sues Google For YouTube’s Injustices

Over the last decade, the popularity of the Internet has exploded, deeply affecting the daily lives of almost everyone.

Sharing interesting or funny videos has engaged billions of people around the world, with YouTube becoming the most popular site. Unfortunately, instead of embracing all users of different views and backgrounds, YouTube has chosen to censor numerous conservative voices on its platform, giving priority to channels more akin to their liking; Prager University has had enough of abuse and discrimination, and has filed a lawsuit against YouTube and its owner Google.

Prager University, commonly known as PragerU, has a channel on YouTube that distributes conservative perspectives on a given subject with videos around five minutes in length. Dennis Prager started the popular channel with topics ranging from the Ten Commandments, to the history behind the Vietnam War.

Each video is straightforward, polite, and concise; there is never yelling, vulgar language, or threats. The mission of PragerU videos is to bring the message of conservatism through various topics in a respectful manner. Additionally, experts asked to present a video for their channel are often esteemed professors, noted public figures, or established political commentators.  With a clear mission to communicate to younger audiences through the popular medium of YouTube, PragerU has grown immensely popular, with each video typically receiving millions of views.

PragerU uses YouTube because of its accessible platform and reputation as the most popular video sharing website on Earth. Numerous other channels have endured similar treatment by those at YouTube. Steven Crowder, a conservative comedian, has expressed frustration with the difficulty YouTube has given his channel.

Furthermore, Dave Rubin, a talk show host on YouTube, has had many of his videos restricted or demonetized; Rubin is a widely known as a host on YouTube, and is not even explicitly conservative.  His interviews simply range across the political spectrum, and this alone has caused difficulty for his channel. Due to success found on YouTube, many hosts rely on advertisements to sustain their income; suffering from constant discrimination doesn’t just give hosts a headache, but often hurts their income as well.

The contrast of experiences between conservative or classical liberal channels with those of the progressive end is stark. The Young Turks, a large progressive channel on YouTube, has not experienced the same problems with YouTube.  Hosts of this channel often use vulgar language while discussing topics, and see no demonetization or restriction. Even worse, some at YouTube have directly supported The Young Turks. With additional success prevented by discriminatory actions of YouTube, PragerU decided to fight back.

Despite YouTube dwarfing PragerU in organizational size and legal teams, PragerU decided to move forward with the lawsuit. PragerU sees the fight as David fighting Goliath. Prager is fond of expressing his disappointment with conservatives not engaging in the noble fight, and decided to take a stand in pursuit of his principles.

In an appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Prager expressed frustration with YouTube; Prager stated that YouTube employees claimed the videos by PragerU were inappropriate for children, and had to be taken down. Additionally, Marissa Streit, CEO of PragerU, voiced her frustrations in an interview with Michael Knowels.  During the interview, she stated, “We have about 250 videos, one fifth of our portfolio, about 50 videos, are being either restricted or demonetized by YouTube and Google.” Both Prager and Streit have endured unfair treatment for too long.

YouTube is a private entity, so it does not have the same free speech requirements as a public entity. However, because YouTube describes itself as a public forum, implementing its policy in an arbitrary and biased way is legally problematic.

Prager explained to Tucker Carlson that if YouTube came forward as a progressive and left-leaning channel, he would have no problem with demonetization and restriction of his videos. The mistake is made when they market as an open forum and behave in a completely different way. The lawsuit alleges violations of six different laws, not just free speech, but also California laws and business practices.

Full statements on the lawsuit and motivations for it can be found at Readers interested in supporting PragerU can sign the petition on the same website, supporting the lawsuit and fight against discrimination. PragerU and its associates rely on support from their audience for support, and any effort to express sympathy for the lawsuit would be appreciated by PragerU.

The modern world frequently uses the internet as the center for ideas. Curious minds from all ages and backgrounds tune in to the Internet, most commonly YouTube, to engage in discussions on pertinent topics of the day. Youtube should stick to its core principles which allows all different ideological views to be represented in the debate, which promotes a richer conversation and more fulfilling engagement.  

PragerU, and conservative channels like it, simply want a spot at the same table progressive channels get in order to enrich the dialogue.

Follow this author on twitter: @MasonGarell

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