A San Francisco court has ruled that YouTube is not a public forum that has to guarantee users the right to free speech. The decision came as the result of a court battle between PragerU and YouTube after the prior argued that the latter was infringing on its rights by censoring its conservative views. At a time when social media firms are clamping down on political material that’s deemed too extreme, this ruling may hold sway in similar situations.
According to PragerU, YouTube’s size and power mean that it is effectively a public space and should, therefore, afford freedom of speech to content creators. The court, however, said that the first amendment only applies to the relationship between the government and the people, not private companies.
Commenting on the results of the case, Craig Strazzeri from PragerU, said:
“Of course this ruling is disappointing, but we won't stop fighting and spreading public awareness of Big Tech's censorship of conservative ideas.”
As YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms have gained more widespread adoption, calls for more moderation have increased. Facebook was heavily criticised for not doing enough to stop fake news circulating on its platform and has developed new tools in order to combat the abuse of its service. Google and Twitter have also implemented similar measures.
Source: BBC News