Home Legal Prager University v. Google

Prager University v. Google

Amid all the rancor by presidential candidates, other politicians, and some of the public at large to regulate speech among social media outlets large and small, comes this bit of harsh reality to some.  Most social media is not a public forum.  Social media by and large consists of private entities.  Facebook, Instagram, YouTube.  They can publish and broadcast what they want.  And they can generally ban speech they don’t want.

It is well established under the First Amendment that the government should not be telling private entities – or private individuals, for that matter – what they can and cannot say.  The latest court decision to confirm this proposition is Prager University v. Google.

PragerU, as it is known, alleged that YouTube and its parent company, Google, restricted access or the placing of ads on its website because of its conservative views (a similar argument by a “liberal” or “moderate” entity would make no difference).  PragerU argued that the ubiquity of YouTube had transformed itself into a public platform – like a public park where all are allowed to speak their minds pursuant to the First Amendment right to free speech.

Not so, said the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. “Despite YouTube’s ubiquity and its role as a public-facing platform, it remains a private forum, not a public forum subject to judicial scrutiny under the First Amendment.”

Private businesses, just like private individuals, should be able to allow or restrict speech in their home environments as they see fit.  To do otherwise would lead to government control of freedom of speech.  That would not be a pretty sight.

Must Read

Are Trump’s Rally Remarks Protected by the First Amendment?

Amid the outrage and sorrow stemming from the destructive and lethal storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6 are renewed calls from across...

When It Comes to the Coronavirus, What – and Who – Should We Believe?

If not for a free and inquisitive press, it is unclear what America would know about the health of the leader of the free...

Automation Drives Censorship on Youtube

In response to videos relating to COVID-19, Youtube, Twitter and Facebook have removed videos containing information they deemed “false” or “misleading.” For example, a...

The Many Lawsuits of Devin Nunes

Perhaps the headline writer for a Washington Post opinion column framed it best:  “Raise your hand if you have not been sued by Devin...

Don’t Cancel the First Amendment

Originally published by National Review, written by Charles C. W. Cooke. Of all the strange and fanciful notions that have bubbled up to the surface...