The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out a lawsuit against YouTube filed by the conservative non-profit Prager University, claiming that PragerU’s claims of First Amendment violations by the Big Tech giant were not valid, as reported by Politico.
The lawsuit was filed after YouTube, which has a monopoly on the video-sharing industry, censored dozens of PragerU’s videos, which present conservative perspectives on major political issues. In the ruling, the three-judge panel claimed that because YouTube is not a “state actor,” it is not bound by the requirements of the First Amendment to let PragerU be heard.
The court determined that “despite YouTube’s ubiquity and its role as a public-facing platform, it remains a private forum,” adding that “YouTube’s braggadocio about its commitment to free speech constitutes opinions.”
PragerU is just one of many conservative and other right-wing channels that have been censored by YouTube, with many being outright banned since 2018. PragerU’s lawsuit represented one of the most high-profile efforts by a conservative organization to push back on Big Tech censorship, and the lawsuit’s defeat represents a major setback for the push to hold Big Tech accountable for its political double standards.