Is the privately-owned YouTube site really a “state actor” subject to judicial scrutiny under the First Amendment? That’s the claim made in a lawsuit by Prager University, which is not really a university. The Ninth Circuit was recently called upon to address PragerU’s claim that the widely popular internet site operated by a private entity should be treated as a “state actor” subject to the First Amendment. Unsurprisingly, the Ninth Circuit reaffirmed well-established case authority to hold that the First Amendment’s protections apply only as to protect against governmental action, not to private companies such as YouTube.
PragerU claims that its mission is purportedly “to ‘provide conservative view points and perspective on public issues that it believes are often overlooked.’” PragerU creates videos that target younger audiences and has posted hundreds of videos on YouTube.
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