Google censors ideas it dislikes – which include videos put out by PragerU.
Infringing on free speech seems to be a growth business. The latest twist comes in complaints that Google and its YouTube subsidiary—which thoroughly dominate public circulation of videos on the Internet—are arbitrarily and unfairly making it harder for viewers to find and experience some viewpoints than others.
Educational charities like PragerU have recently gotten good at producing short videos that educate the public on policy and current-affairs issues. Many of PragerU’s five-minute productions—on topics like “Why Did America Fight the Korean War?,” “Is the Death Penalty Ever Moral?,” “What’s Wrong With E-Cigarettes?,” and “Are the Police Racist?”—have been viewed a million or more times online. Since its inception as a 501c3 producer, PragerU videos have been watched a total of 998 million times, and 70 percent of viewers say they have changed their mind on an important issue after taking in PragerU content.
Now PragerU has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Ninth Circuit federal court, alleging that the nonprofit’s content has been discriminated against since Summer 2016 because of its (center-right) political identity. The plaintiff says this happens in two ways.
“Demonetizing” a video means that Google won’t place ads on your video’s viewing page, resulting in loss of the revenue stream that other videos enjoy. Google says it does this because content is too extreme, hateful, graphic, or controversial.
“Restricting” a video prevents it from appearing on the computers of families, libraries, schools, universities, and employers that have turned on Google’s “Restricted Mode” setting to block nudity, profanity, gratuitous violence, and other unsafe content.
Aptos Psychologist: Sign up for PragerU’s videos? Tell Google to ‘stuff it’? Yes – let’s protect freedom of speech …