In case you haven’t heard of us, PragerU is a conservative educational non-profit that reaches millions of young people on the internet every day. PragerU was founded by nationally-syndicated radio host and bestselling author Dennis Prager.
We’re writing to you because PragerU is currently fighting for freedom of speech through a lawsuit against video giant YouTube for its systematic censorship of our videos.
YouTube has chosen repeatedly to restrict and/or demonetize over 40 PragerU videos for violating their “Community Guidelines.” Those guidelines are meant to protect users against viewing sexual, violent, or graphic content.
If you’ve seen any PragerU videos, you know as well as I do that they contain nothing even remotely close to any of these categories.
YouTube has restricted videos on topics ranging from religion to the history of the Iraq War to free speech on college campuses. Some of the restricted titles include:
Why America Must Lead, presented by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Denmark’s former Prime Minister
Israel’s Legal Founding, presented by scholar and author Alan Dershowitz
Is Islam a Religion of Peace, presented by author Ayaan Hirsi Ali
If You Live in Freedom, Thank the British Empire by historian H.W. Crocker
Why America Invaded Iraq presented by noted historian, Andrew Roberts
Not exactly “sexual, violent or graphic content.”
It was almost two years ago that we first discovered what YouTube was up to and filed a complaint with them, hoping that this was some kind of innocent mistake.
That’s when we were told by YouTube that after reviewing our videos they determined that our videos were indeed “not appropriate for a younger audience.” Of course, we have this in writing.
Think about the millions of actually inappropriate videos on YouTube and then ask yourself, “Why are PragerU’s educational videos restricted?”
The answer is rather obvious, isn’t it? YouTube has restricted PragerU videos for only one reason:Ideological discrimination.
Of course, YouTube is owned by Google, which was founded to, ironically, “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
YouTube has made some of our most important videos inaccessible to the very audience PragerU seeks to reach: young people.
Let me be clear: they don’t like what we teach and so they intend to stop us from teaching it. This kind of censorship is what we have seen on college campuses for years. But it is far more dangerous in this circumstance because the internet is where the world goes to get informed.
Can you imagine if the left owned the internet the way they own our universities?
Can you imagine what the world would look like if Google is allowed to continue to arbitrarily censor ideas they simply don’t agree with?
Well, this is why PragerU is currently fighting through a lawsuit against YouTube and Google. We are not fighting this only for PragerU—we are taking this on for America and for freedom of speech in general.
Despite a preliminary ruling that dismissed our case, the Judge has allowed our efforts to continue through the legal process. We look forward to arguing the merits of our case in both state and Federal Court, as well as the 9th Circuit, or even the Supreme Court if that is what it takes to ensure that every American’s freedom of speech is protected online.
Fighting back against Google was not an easy decision for PragerU.
But we ultimately chose to build an all-star legal team, including former Governor of California Pete Wilson’s law firm. It’s an impressive group, because this is an important case; not only for PragerU, but for the fundamental American right to freedom of speech.
Despite the fact that our amazing attorneys have agreed to reasonably cap their legal fees, there will be additional personnel, research, marketing, and public relations costs to PragerU.
This case will be tried in the court of public opinion as much as in the courtroom, and we intend to win on both fronts.
However, PragerU cannot deplete its operating budget to fight this case. Thanks to our thousands of generous supporters, PragerU has reached more than 1-out-of-4 Americans on the internet. Sixty-three percent of them are under 34. We plan to continue to focus on this growth and reach 3 out of 4 Americans. We can’t let up now.
We are fully committed to the lawsuit, but we won’t let Google slow down PragerU’s growth.
This is why PragerU’s board of directors and many staff members have donated—in addition to our annual gift—to our “YouTube Action Fund.”
Now, here is how you can help: Please go to our website and sign the petition against YouTube censorship. It already has over 400,000 signatures; please add yours if you haven’t done so already, and ask 10 of your friends to do the same. Also please contribute to our action fund if you can. Our initial goal for the legal fund is $1 million, and we think we can reach that goal with your help.
If you think this fight is important please support us in whatever way you can.
It seems like a lot to ask…until you consider how much we have to lose.
Perhaps Goliath could teach Google a little bit about where hubris leads… when a David comes slinging.
Born and raised in New York City, he attended Brooklyn College and graduated with a double major in history and Middle Eastern Studies. Between 1970 and 1972, he attended the Middle East and Russian Institutes (now Harriman Institute) at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. Prager also studied international history, comparative religion, and Arabic at the University of Leeds.