YouTube is restricting access to PragerU's videos on the Ten Commandments, labeling them as mature content that's “inappropriate” for “sensitive” audiences.
In a series of posts to Twitter on Tuesday, PragerU reported that hundreds of their videos, including many of those focused on explaining the Ten Commandments, were being restricted by YouTube. This limits viewers' access to the videos and limits ad revenue going to PragerU.
“Our last count was conducted in April and at that time there were over 100 PragerU videos restricted — including over 50 of our 5-minute videos. There are now over 240 PragerU videos restricted including over 100 of our 5-minute videos,” tweeted PragerU.
“Among the newly restricted videos are more videos from our 10 Commandments series with Dennis Prager including: Do Not Misuse God’s Name … Do Not Steal … Do Not Covet. Why would YouTube restrict these videos?”
PragerU added a link to a petition demanding that YouTube remove the age restriction to the videos. As of Wednesday morning, over 643,000 people have signed it.
“There is no excuse for Google and YouTube censoring and restricting any PragerU videos, which are produced with the sole intent of educating people of all ages about America's founding values,” they said.
“We need your help to tell YouTube that their restriction of our videos is wrong. Join the thousands of Americans who value the free exchange of ideas.”
PragerU is a conservative YouTube channel with more than 1 million subscribers that is headed by conservative radio host Dennis Prager.
YouTube has censored many of Prager U's videos by either blocking or restricting the content to only be seen by "mature" audiences.
In October 2017, PragerU filed a lawsuit against Google and YouTube in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, accusing them of ideologically-driven discrimination.
In March 2018, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh dismissed PragerU’s federal lawsuit, arguing that Google and YouTube “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.”
PragerU appealed Judge Koh's decision before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and will have oral arguments next Tuesday.
In January, PragerU filed a second lawsuit against Google and YouTube in the Superior Court of California for the county of Santa Clara, accusing them of violating state laws.
The state lawsuit argued that YouTube censored PragerU through its “Restricted Mode,” a filtering protocol used to block content deemed “inappropriate” for “sensitive” audiences; and via it’s “Advertising Restrictions,” which prohibits advertisers from accessing videos deemed “inappropriate” for advertising.
“Google/YouTube use these filtering mechanisms as a pretext to justify restricting and censoring PragerU’s videos. And Google/YouTube continues to do so, even though the content of PragerU videos complies with YouTube’s written criteria,” read the lawsuit.