Judge dismisses lawsuit alleging Google censorship of conservative YouTube videos

Judge dismisses lawsuit alleging Google censorship of conservative YouTube videos
© Getty Images

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Google filed by the conservative educational site PragerU that alleged the internet giant was censoring its YouTube videos.

U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh wrote in her decision on Monday that PragerU had failed to demonstrate that age restrictions imposed on the company’s videos are a First Amendment violation.

"PragerU’s videos weren’t excluded from Restricted Mode because of politics or ideology, as we demonstrated in our filings,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement. “PragerU’s allegations were meritless, both factually and legally, and the court’s ruling vindicates important legal principles that allow us to provide different choices and settings to users."

ADVERTISEMENT

PragerU filed its lawsuit in October, alleging that Google’s decision to remove some of its videos from YouTube’s restricted mode, which filters out certain videos for younger audiences, was motivated by a prejudice against conservatives.

The list of age-restricted videos included segments like “The most important question about abortion,” “Where are the moderate Muslims?” and “Is Islam a religion of peace?”

A spokesman for PragerU, which posts educational lectures and was founded by conservative radio host and commentator Dennis Prager, did not immediately respond when asked to comment.

In her decision, Koh dismissed the PragerU’s free speech claims, arguing that Google is not subject to the First Amendment because it’s a private company and not a public institution.

“Defendants are private entities who created their own video-sharing social media website and make decisions about whether and how to regulate content that has been uploaded on that website,” Koh wrote.