Conservative Group Loses Suit to Join YouTube Kid Friendly Mode

Dennis Prager attends Politicon at The Pasadena Convention Center on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2017, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Invision/AP)

PragerU sued to get their (excellent) videos included in Youtube’s kid-friendly browsing mode, but lost. Should they have won?


Dennis Prager attends Politicon at The Pasadena Convention Center on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2017, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Invision/AP)

YouTube’s Restricted Mode is not the normal mode of operation for Youtube. It’s a setting you enable in your browser’s cookies that limits what you can see in that browser:

Restricted Mode is an optional setting that you can use to help screen out potentially mature content that you may prefer not to see or don’t want others in your family to see.

We use many signals—such as video title, description, metadata, Community Guidelines reviews, and age-restrictions—to identify and filter out potentially mature content. Restricted Mode is available in all languages, but due to differences in cultural norms and sensitivities, the quality may vary.

When restricted mode is enabled, you will not be able to see comments on the videos you watch.

Parts of PragerU’s collection of videos were not being included in Restricted Mode. So they sued, and lost, getting the case dismissed entirely.

Again, I love PragerU’s work, but I find it baffling that they would claim it was a First Amendment violation for Google to do this. Google is not the government. The First Amendment doesn’t apply to their YouTube service. Judge Lucy Koh got it right:

Defendants are private entities who created their own video-sharing social media website and make decisions about whether and how to regulate content that has been uploaded on that website.

We’re conservatives. We can fight for ourselves, and seek to get our ideas out there, but at the same time, we understand the Constitution. The First Amendment gives us a right to speak. Not a right to be on someone else’s website.