NowThis News covered Prager University’s latest legal battle and how a federal appeals court ruled against the right-leaning non-profit organization in its case against Google and its video platform YouTube. Prager University, or PragerU, creates videos on topics across politics, philosophy, and economics and have various guest speakers narrate the videos from a right-leaning political or cultural perspective.
PragerU accused YouTube of censoring multiple videos and sued the company that it was violating PragerU’s freedom of speech. The court said that YouTube is a private forum and that it does not have to abide by the First Amendment. The key caveat was that if YouTube was a public forum, then PragerU would have had a stronger case in suing about YouTube’s alleged censorship of their videos.
YouTube said, “We’re pleased with this decision. We go to extraordinary lengths to build our products and enforce our policies in a way that doesn’t take political leanings into account.” The spokesperson continued, “We’re proud that YouTube continues to be a place where many different voices are welcome, including PragerU, which has 2+ million subscribers.”
NowThis News claimed that YouTube “has been fertile ground for PragerU’s founders and funders to reach young people without traditional gatekeepers like parents and schools.” The website’s word choice insinuated that PragerU was circumventing young people’s parents and school staff, which was an odd choice of words. There should not be problems with companies directly communicating their messages to their consumers or clients, which is what PragerU is doing.
Also, NowThis News called PragerU a “right-wing media machine” instead of using the organization’s official definition as an education non-profit. The phrase that NowThis News used was misleading because it presented an opinionated phrase as factual and correct.
NowThis neglected to point out how YouTube’s censorship could affect liberal or progressive channels and how this court case sets precedent on YouTube censorship. The website focused on how YouTube won the case against a right-leaning non-profit, but it failed to provide a big-picture view and context for its readers.