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California is sued after getting caught flagging YouTube videos for censorship

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Judicial Watch has filed a lawsuit against California’s Secretary of State for making YouTube censor a video on election integrity posted weeks before the November 2020 election.

On September 22, 2020, Judicial Watch posted a video on election integrity on YouTube, titled: “**ELECTION INTEGRITY CRISIS** Dirty Voter Rolls, Ballot Harvesting & Mail-in-Voting Risks!” In the 26-minute video, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton discussed election topics like ballot harvesting, changes in states’ election procedures, vote-by-mail processes, and failures by states to update voter rolls.

The lawsuit alleges that the California Office of Elections Cybersecurity (OEC), overseen by California’s State Secretary Shirley Weber, contacted Google to have the video removed. The suit accuses Weber and her office of violating Judicial Watch’s First Amendment and other rights.

We obtained a copy of the complaint for you here.

According to records, on September 24, 2020, OEC’s social media coordinator Akilah Jones sent an email to Google to report the video.

“I am reporting the following video because it misleads community members about elections or other civic processes and misrepresents the safety and security of mail-in ballots. Thank you for your time and attention on this matter,” Jones wrote in the email.

A Google/YouTube representative replied to Jones on September 25, saying they would look into it. Later that day, the video was removed. Two days later, the Google/YouTube representative confirmed to Jones that the video had been removed for violating the platform’s policies.

According to the lawsuit, Weber and the OEC violated Judicial Watch’s First and Fourteenth Amendments, and civil rights established in the state of California’s constitution.

“Smoking gun documents show California government officials, who were being advised by the Biden campaign PR operation, caused YouTube to censor a key Judicial Watch video just before the 2020 election,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “This egregious government censorship and election interference violated Judicial Watch’s civil rights, and our lawsuit seeks to stop and expose the growing corruption of leftist government officials colluding with Big Tech allies to attack the free speech rights of Americans.”

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