LOS ANGELES — One year after PragerU first filed its lawsuit against Google/YouTube in U.S. District Court – and just weeks after a new discovery that 47 additional PragerU videos have been restricted by YouTube – PragerU has once again found itself on the receiving end of the world’s largest online video platform’s “mistaken” and inconsistent policies. This time, the incident involves a newly released video featuring FOX News primetime host, Tucker Carlson, presenting his perspective on the state of U.S. immigration, content distilled from his new book Ship of Fools, which reached #1 on the New York Timesbestseller list.
The video entitled “Illegal Immigration: It’s About Power” is the newest animated video which PragerU releases every Monday morning featuring a prominent academic thinker or culturally significant figure. The online educational media organization sometimes utilizes ads to promote the release of new content. However, according the Google Ads, Tucker Carlson’s short lecture was deemed “dangerous or derogatory” and as such, the platform blocked promotional ads connected to the video.
As soon as PragerU learned of the block, the organization moved quickly to appeal the decision. Once reached, Google Ads reversed its decision, and in a statement to Tucker Carlson Tonight, the company said, “The ad had mistakenly been disapproved.” Coming less than a week before the 2018 midterm elections, the “mistake” led host Tucker Carlson, from the set of his show, to suggest the timing was akin to “election tampering.”
“An ongoing pattern of censorship is not a mistake, it’s the deliberate censorship of conservative ideas,” says PragerU’s Chief Marketing Officer Craig Strazzeri.“No one believes them when they say it’s a mistake, especially with all the admissions of political bias by their own employees. The issue of big tech companies censoring conservative voices is one of the most important issues of our time. I’m proud that at PragerU we have been fighters on this issue and started the national conversation about the problem. We want to win in both the court of public opinion and the courtroom.”
PragerU v. Google/YouTube, has placed the educational media organization at the center of a heated national debate about freedom of speech online, and carries with it profound implications for both the future of the First Amendment online, and more generally, political debate in America. The lawsuit’s federal claims are currently being appealed at the Ninth Circuit Court while certain state law claims have been filed in state court. More than a half million grassroots supporters have added their names to PragerU’s online petition and thousands more have donated in support of the organization’s legal fund.
“What recourse does the average American have when they realize their content is being censored or shadow banned if they don’t have a primetime show or millions of people in their audience,” adds Strazzeri. “That’s why our lawsuit with Google/YouTube is so important for the protection of the First Amendment for all Americans, and it’s why we’re committed to continuing this fight for as long and for as far as it takes.”
More than 10 percent of PragerU’s online video library is now restricted or demonetized by Google/YouTube.
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PragerU, founded by Dennis Prager in 2011, is a not-for-profit organization that helps millions understand the values that shaped America and provides millions of Americans and people around the world with the intellectual ammunition they need to advocate for limited government, individual responsibility and economic freedom. Since its founding, PragerU videos have received over 1.7 billion views, a figure which eclipsed over 625 million in 2017 alone. PragerU is a resource for all who value liberty. It is a threat to all those who do not.