A federal judge ruled in Google’s favor in a lawsuit against YouTube by “LGBT content creators.” YouTube was accused of infringing on the content creators First Amendment rights by censoring their content.
The lawsuit against Google was brought by Divino Group and other content creators in August 2019. District Court Magistrate Virginia DeMarchi dismissed ruled against the content creators because YouTube and Google are private entities that are not obligated to respect the First Amendment rights against restricting free speech.
We obtained a copy of the ruling for you here.
“Plaintiffs do not state a claim for violation of the First Amendment because defendants are not state actors,” the judge wrote in the ruling. Unlike government officials and organizations, private groups do not have to respect free speech rights.
The content creators were suing because YouTube censored their content by preventing ads from running in some of their videos and placing age restrictions. Some of the videos got a “restricted mode” designation, which allows YouTube users to avoid seeing content showing crime, drug use, war, sexual activity, and other topics primarily aimed at adult audiences.
According to the plaintiff’s, YouTube’s restrictions violated the First Amendment and the California civil rights laws against discrimination on the basis of sexuality. That claim was dismissed with prejudice, meaning it can’t be brought up again.
The judge referred to a case brought to the federal appellate court last year by Prager University against Google, where the ruling was the same.
They also claimed that the “restricted mode” designation put on some of their videos is some form of false advertising. The judge also dismissed this claim, but without prejudice. She allowed the plaintiff’s up to January 20 to redraft the complaint and bring it again.