A successful online educational organization recently announced that its videos are being censored by Google’s YouTube. Prager University (PragerU), founded by syndicated radio talk show host Dennis Prager, made this revelation after months of trying to get YouTube to release a number of its educational offerings from the social media giant’s “restricted mode,” which flags and prevents them from being accessed freely.
“I’m appalled, though sadly not surprised, that Google is targeting PragerU’s videos,” said NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson. “These resources are educational, not explicit adult content. One can only surmise that YouTube is engaging in viewpoint censorship yet again.”
PragerU regularly produces free, five-minute videos with a vision to “help millions of people understand the fundamental values that shaped America.” In particular, their videos feature Judeo-Christian and conservative viewpoints with a particular emphasis on freedom of speech, free press, free markets, and strong national defense. Some of the videos YouTube has found objectionable include “Why Did America Fight the Korean War?” “Who's More Pro-Choice: Europe or America?” “What ISIS Wants,” and “Israel's Legal Founding.”
In an interview this week on The Laura Ingraham Show, Dennis Prager said, “It’s very important that your listeners know that they undoubtedly target us because we’re so big. We have 120 million views this year. One hundred and twenty million, and the largest single group is under 35. So it’s making a difference, and I’m sure it’s registered with them that it has.”
These resources are often accessed by educators, among others, and Elisha Krauss, PragerU’s Director of Outreach, told The Daily Signal, “Some places of employment and many libraries and schools use restricted mode to prevent vulgar and inappropriate content. So we know students and adults are being prevented from doing research and using our videos as a source.”
PragerU is gathering signatures on a petition calling for YouTube to discontinue its block on these videos. More than 69, 000 people have already signed their names.
NRB’s John Milton Project for Free Speech has chronicled similar examples of free speech censorship on the internet. For more, see nrb.org/jmp. In addition, this topic was also discussed on a recent edition of Washington Watch with Tony Perkins guest-hosted by Johnson.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: October 21, 2016