Prager University’s chief marketing officer appeared Wednesday on “Fox & Friends” to talk about the company’s lawsuit against YouTube that appeared before a Seattle federal appeals court earlier this week.
“There is so much evidence every day that they continue to restrict us, simply because we’re conservatives,” Craig Strazzeri said.
PragerU is known for its five-minute educational YouTube videos, but according to the company, Google-owned YouTube had placed the popular videos on its restricted list.
Although PragerU initially assumed this was a case of a bad algorithm, Google told them that each video was reviewed by humans before being put on the list.
Some of the videos affected were: “Are the Police Racist?” “Israel’s Legal Founding” and “Do Not Murder,” a video on the Ten Commandments. PragerU filed suit in federal court in 2017 to fight what it called an infringement of its First Amendment rights.
“Fox & Friends” host Steve Doocy asked Strazzeri if YouTube could do whatever it wanted because it is a private company — an argument many others have made about big tech giants.
“YouTube and Google are a public forum — and this isn’t a very difficult argument to make considering the fact that they themselves call themselves a public forum,” Strazzeri replied.
“They want the immunities that Section 230 of the [Communications Decency] provides to neutral public forums, but then they want to act like a publisher and have editorial control and restrict content that they don’t like, which is clearly conservative content.”
The chief marketing officer than laughed as Doocy read a statement from YouTube spokeswoman Ivy Choi that said, “We go to extraordinary lengths to build our products and enforce our policies in a way that political leanings are not taken into account.”
“Our platforms have always been about sharing information everywhere and giving many different people a voice, including PragerU, who has over 2 million subscribers on their YouTube channel.”
Strazzeri replied, “They continue to lie and say that they’re politically neutral when every day there’s more evidence — their own employees are coming forward and admitting to targeting conservatives and targeting PragerU.”
According to Strazzeri, YouTube could only do what it wants if it was a publisher, but it can’t be one because that would open them up to a lot of lawsuits, because they only get immunity by being a public forum.
This is exactly the point PragerU argued in front of a panel of three judges in the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, The Wall Street Journal reported.
But judges had to decide whether this was an infringement on the Constitution.
“If your representations are correct, it seems deeply disturbing that they put your stuff in the restricted area,” Judge Jay Bybee said Tuesday. “I’m not sure that creates a First Amendment issue.”
CORRECTION, Aug. 30, 2019: This article was originally published under the headline “PragerU Exec Scoff’s at Google’s Claim To Be Public Forum Immune from First Amendment Lawsuits.” After publication, Craig Strazzeri reached out to say that he scoffed at Google’s claim to be politically neutral. We have corrected the title to reflect this.
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