In October, the conservative educational nonprofit Prager University filed a lawsuit against YouTube and its parent company, Google, for “intentional” censorship of conservative speakers. PragerU told PJ Media that after five months, YouTube is still restricting its videos. PragerU will go before a California judge on March 15.
“There’s one thing we know and that’s that we’re being targeted by YouTube,” Craig Strazzeri, chief marketing officer at PragerU, told PJ Media. “We tried the diplomatic approach for over a year and a half. We had email dialogue, phone call dialogue with them. I was even invited to New York to discuss the problem, where absolutely nothing got done.”
After a year, PragerU had had enough and filed the lawsuit. After this, they had to wait six months before appearing before a judge.
More than 40 of PragerU’s videos have been “restricted” by YouTube. “We have in writing from them that they’ve reviewed our videos and deemed them inappropriate. They’re not even hiding behind it,” Strazzeri said.
“Restricted” videos cannot be viewed in specific “modes,” such as “child mode,” a version of YouTube supposedly tailored to children. The video company told PragerU they deemed the videos inappropriate for young people, because they discuss “mature topics.”
“However, there are millions — that’s not an exaggeration — of other videos on the same topic that are not restricted. Sometimes either an identical title from a Left-leaning perspective and theirs won’t be restricted and ours will be,” Strazzeri told PJ Media.
Ironically, there are many YouTube accounts that copy a PragerU video — in its entirety — and do not find their copycat videos restricted, even though PragerU’s original video was.
For instance, on December 4, 2017, PragerU released a video with author and film producer Dinesh D’Souza on the true nature of fascism.
Six days later, a user named Jack Kern published an identical video.
People using YouTube in a restricted mode cannot watch the PragerU video, but they can watch the exact same content from Jack Kern. The PragerU video has more than 893,000 views, while Kern’s video has a mere 40 views. It seems YouTube is specifically targeting PragerU because it has a wide audience.
The issue goes far beyond PragerU, however. Google dominates Internet search traffic with over 75 percent of the market. This dominance has a cultural impact, as “Google” itself has become a verb meaning “Internet search.”
“It’s in Google’s mission statement that they make information accessible. People don’t realize when they Google something they may not actually get all the information that’s available,” Strazzeri said.
“It would be different if they said they were a Leftist organization, but they claim themselves to be this place where they collect and organize the world’s information for people to access,” he explained. “The public thinks they’re getting an objective look, not so much that Google is picking and choosing and hiding and deleting anyone who disagrees with their point of view.”
This is far from the first time Google — and Silicon Valley in general — has shown anti-conservative bias.
Last August, Google senior software engineer James Damore was fired after he released a memo revealing the tech giant to be an “ideological echo chamber.” He is now suing the company for gender, racial, and viewpoint discrimination.
A Lincoln Network survey released this past Friday revealed that two-thirds of Silicon Valley employees said their workplaces were “liberal” or “very liberal.” The vast majority of employees who identified themselves as “conservative” or “very conservative” said they could not be themselves at work, and said they were terrified of being fired if their political beliefs were made known.
“The James Damore lawsuit, the Lincoln Network study … it’s unfortunately not surprising at all,” Strazzeri said.
He also explained the problematic claims and history of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an organization Apple has partnered with and which has sent lists of “hate groups” used by Vanco Payments and Amazon, among others.
The SPLC tries “to tie in Nazi and white supremacists with any group that is Right-leaning. Christian and family groups are now equated with Nazis. People have looked at that hate list and gone to shoot up one of those Christian organizations,” Strazzeri told PJ Media.
In August 2012, Floyd Lee Corkins II targeted the Family Research Council (FRC), shooting and badly wounding its building manager, Leo Johnson. Corkins testified that he intended to kill everyone in the building, and place a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich by each of their bodies.
Corkins pled guilty to committing an act of terrorism and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. During an FBI interrogation, he said he targeted the FRC because of the SPLC “hate map.”
The kind of bias involved in accepting the SPLC as an authority on “hate” is breathtaking, but while Google hasn’t championed the SPLC (at least not yet) — it has censored PragerU videos.
PragerU still has another month to wait before bringing the case before a judge. In the meantime, Americans can express their support for PragerU and their opposition to online censorship by signing the petition to “Stop Online Censorship” here. Strazzeri told PJ Media that nearly 450,000 people have signed the petition in the last year.
Watch an important video about the case, published by PJ Media, below.