LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Today marks the one-year anniversary since PragerU staff members discovered that 21 of the organization’s animated, educational videos were marked as “restricted” by YouTube. After one year with no clear explanation as to why YouTube, a Google-owned video platform, is targeting PragerU videos, that number has climbed to 26.
Many parents enable YouTube’s Restricted Mode to block violent and sexually explicit content from their children. Apparently, YouTube also utilizes Restricted Mode to block children from watching G-rated, educational video content. PragerU has compiled a complete list of their restricted videos here, which includes titles like, “Why Did America Fight the Korean War?” by Hoover Institution scholar Victor Davis Hanson; “Why America Must Lead,” by former Danish Prime Minister and former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen; and “Israel’s Legal Founding,” by prominent attorney Alan Dershowitz.
In response to a formal complaint filed by PragerU, a representative from the internet behemoth said only, "We don't censor anyone,” although they do "take into consideration what the intent of the video is" and "what the focus of the video is."
“YouTube has yet to give any real explanation as to why our videos are being targeted,” said PragerU CEO Marissa Streit. “Our videos feature some of the most widely respected thought leaders from around the world discussing a wide variety of topics. For PragerU videos to be in the same categoy as violent or pornographic content is a clear indication that we have been targeted unfairly. Regardless of your political views, every American should be incensed that YouTube is censoring videos based on those videos’ ideological content."
In response to the controversy, PragerU has set up a petition page that has nearly a quarter of a million signatures. The page invites people to “join the thousands of Americans who value the free exchange of ideas” and help “free these 26 videos so that everyone can watch them.”
“PragerU was started in large part to tell young people the truth about America’s founding ideas. These ideas expose the left’s regressive thinking, so as an organization on the left, Google/YouTube feels threatened by PragerU,” said PragerU Chief Marketing Officer Craig Strazzeri. “Let’s be clear—they are censoring our videos because they disagree with them. And it’s fine to not agree. But restricting our videos shows that they don’t want ideas they disagree with to even be seen or heard.”
To add your name to PragerU’s petition, click here.
MEDIA NOTE: PragerU Founder Dennis Prager, CEO Marissa Streit, and Chief Marketing Officer Craig Strazzeri are available for comment. To request an interview, please contact: MediaInquiries@theKcompany.co
PragerU, founded by Dennis Prager in 2011, is a not-for-profit organization that helps millions understand the values that shaped America and provides millions of Americans and people around the world with the intellectual ammunition they need to advocate for limited government, individual responsibility and economic freedom. In 2016 alone, PragerU’s videos received over 250 million views, a figure that will eclipse 350 million in 2017. PragerU is a resource for all who value liberty. It is a threat to all those who do not.