YouTube is apparently censoring Prager University’s videos for reasons that don’t quite add up. The conservative, nonprofit educational organization that also goes by PragerU produces short, educational videos. It released a statement Tuesday decrying YouTube’s decision to put 21 of its videos on “restricted mode.”
“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,” the statement reads.
Schools and parents often set their YouTube accounts to restricted mode to steer children away from inappropriate or obscene content, but none of PragerU’s videos contain adult material. The videos are intentionally G-rated in an effort to educate and engage all audiences.
A complete list of all 21 videos that have been placed on restricted mode can be found here. A few include: “Are The Police Racist?” “Why Don’t Feminists Fight for Muslim Women?” and “Who’s More Pro-Choice: Europe or America?”
Google has since doubled down on its decision to make PragerU’s videos inaccessible to many of its users.
“We don’t censor anyone,” a Google employee told Prager U, although the company said it does “take into consideration what the intent of the video is” and “what the focus of the video is.”
The aforementioned statement doesn’t give a concrete answer about why the videos are being censored. It seems a small group of Internet overlords can put one’s content on the naughty list — thus making it unwatchable for many people — at whim, which makes it vulnerable to being restricted based on political disagreements. In that statement, Google basically says: “We don’t need to give you a reason. We can do whatever we want, so sit down and shut up.”
It seems YouTube has taken after other platforms’ tendencies (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to target content from conservative outlets and quickly block and ban content coming from conservative users.
For example, another media outlet, Vox.com, with an informational explainer video about racism in America wasn’t censored, but PragerU’s video about the same topic was. This discrepancy underscores the arbitrary nature of YouTube’s decision and the extent of their power.
YouTube doesn't restrict Vox's "The racist history of US immigration history" but restricts PragerU's "Is America Racist?" Hmmm….
— PragerU (@prageru) October 11, 2016
YouTube’s decision to go after PragerU for no solid reason seems like just another instance of the tech world’s partisan censorship, which seems to be happening more and more regularly. Just last month, Twitter suspended the account for Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds after he tweeted that drivers should run down protestors who disrupt traffic and harass motorists. While it was obvious his comment wasn’t intended to encourage violence, Twitter made him delete the tweet before they would reinstate his account. Earlier this year, Facebook got into a lot of trouble after its employees admitted they suppressed conservative news outlets when determining what content made it into its trending topics sidebar.
PragerU is circulating a petition to get their videos off the website’s naughty list. Since Tuesday, it’s already garnered more than 17,000 signatures.