PragerU is an educational site that sums up conservative ideas in concise, shareable videos. The problem? YouTube has been arbitrarily marking PragerU videos as inappropriate content and blocking them from generating ad money.
“What they have done is truly remarkable, and they make these 5-minute educational videos,” Glenn said. “You can’t tell me that they are inaccurate; they are done by some of the greatest minds alive today, and they are now being censored on YouTube.”
PragerU CEO Marissa Streit spoke out about the dangers of online censorship on today’s show. At first, PragerU thought there was simply a mistake since the videos don’t contain pornographic or inflammatory content that would be flagged in YouTube’s guidelines.
She said PragerU first noticed the problem when college students who enjoy their educational videos reached out to say that their school’s internet had blocked the clips.
“The students were the ones who told us, ‘We can’t reach the videos,’” she said.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.
LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images
This is a rush transcript and may contain errors.
GLENN: You know, I would — I would like to — I’d love to have — boy, I’ve never used this word before in a positive. I’d really like to have a symposium sometime next year with some of the best minds in the country. Not only the conservative minds, but also the futurist minds, on how does — how do you — how do you get a message out?
I think the days of people like me are numbered. I — I worry. And it has changed in the last six months. And — and things are becoming more and more clear on the railroad lines that have been laid by companies like Google, YouTube, Facebook, and even Apple is poised to get into it.
How do we — how do we pay for news? How do we do news? How do we deliver news, when these companies can just wash you out? People are not talking about the fact that Google has hired its — this is a quote, its first 1,000 journalists, end quote.
They are going to provide news. And it’s going to come all through them. And if they don’t like you, you’re not going to see it. It won’t be — I mean, it will be on some dot-com. But how do you find it?
It’s already beginning. You know, we are going to be doing a special next — probably after the first of the year, about Media Matters. And I want to show you how Media Matters is operating, and how they are already at places like Google and YouTube. This is — in their own words, they’re already there, telling them who should be dropped and who is — who has an opinion that is important. And who has an opinion that isn’t important. Which is offensive? What isn’t?
You want Media Matters deciding that? Because that’s who Google and YouTube are now listening to. Which brings me to a story yesterday that we talked about.
And if you have any money, and you are looking to help somebody learn and gain some knowledge in a — in a very effective way, I want you to make a donation to Prager University. Prager University is — Dennis Prager, what he has done — and his team is unbelievable.
And what they have done is truly remarkable. And they make these five-minute educational videos, that, look, if you have a different opinion, you may not like it because they’re very effective.
But you can’t tell me they’re inaccurate. They’re done by some of the greatest minds alive today. And they are now being censored on YouTube and being demonetized, which means you can’t — they can’t make money on them.
Now, here’s the thing, they operate on donations because I don’t know how many thousands of dollars each of these videos cost. But they’re not cheap to make. And so they have been making them on donations, because they — they can’t rack up the views like the Young Turks did, who are complete conspiracy theorist guys. Completely discredited. And yet, they’ll sell for a billion dollars.
Prager U is never going to be able to cash out at a billion dollars. No company is ever going to buy Prager U. We can’t eat our own. And we must support our own. And Prager University, I can’t recommend highly enough that you support them in every way possible, even if it is just spreading their video.
So they have now — they have now filed a lawsuit on Monday against YouTube. And who do we have on, Stu?
Marissa Street? She’s the CEO. I love this woman. So smart. From Prager U. Hi, Marissa, how are you?
MARISSA: Hi, Glenn. Thank you for this. An amazing introduction. I can’t tell you how encouraging it is to have good people like you on our side. Well, thank you.
GLENN: Well, I have been watching you and cheering you from the sidelines for a long time. And I want to do everything I can. And I’ve already pledged to you that Mercury One is going to give you a percentage of everything that we raise for education. Because I think you guys do unbelievable work.
So, Marissa, tell me what is happening at YouTube.
MARISSA: So I’ll tell you something really interesting, how we heard about this, to begin with. About a year and a half ago, we got some emails from students. You know, we have this student group called Prager Force, they’re essentially our ambassadors on campuses across the United States. And they started emailing in, hey, what’s going on? We’ve been watching your videos. We use them on campus. But for some reason, we can’t watch them. When we get to the library, we’ve been wanting to share them with some other students. And we couldn’t figure out, what was the issue? Why aren’t they able to reach — see these videos? So as we looked into it, we figured out that our videos are being restricted. And they’re being restricted from the exact audience that needs these videos more than ever. So the students were the ones who told us, you know, we can’t reach the video.
So we started looking into it. And we sent a few emails to Google and say this must — we said, this must be a mistake. Why would our videos be — be censored?
We read through the guidelines. The guideline that said that videos that are censored are usually pornographic and graphic, and hate speech, and — and violent. Obviously, anybody in their right mind would watch our videos and agree with us, that these videos are none of the above.
So we started looking into it further. We heard crickets from YouTube for almost a year, until we launched a petition this past summer and got close to 300,000 signatures. At that point, YouTube finally responded to us and said that they’re reviewing our videos. And we have this in writing, by the way. They review our videos, and they deemed them inappropriate and only appropriate for mature audience. So the very audience that we’re trying to reach is essentially blocked from reaching our videos.
GLENN: Okay. So the audience can get a handle on this. These are the same kind of people that say that we have to teach about transgenderism to our kindergarten classes. Yet, students in college cannot handle — why isn’t communism as hated as Naziism? Or the Ten Commandments. Thou shalt not kill.
You can’t handle that. But a kindergartener can handle transgenderism. I don’t understand it.
MARISSA: Yeah. Exactly. I mean, that is — that is our exact point. And that’s the point that our students and our viewership was making.
So, you know, we can’t allow the left to take over the university — to take over the internet as they have done with the university. If we lose the internet, which is obviously the — the way people get information these days, then — then what’s left?
GLENN: Yeah. This is — this is the new Hollywood. I mean, I think — for instance, Facebook, I think is replacing — is a replacement for the telephone, the television, the newsroom, talk radio. It’s — it’s all forms of communication that we have had. And if you lose in Facebook and you lose with YouTube and Google, you’re never going to be found. You’re never going to be found.
Do you know, Marissa, we have an internal — bunch of internal documents from Media Matters, where they say they are already in-house at YouTube and Google, advising them on what should be cut and what should remain. Were you aware of that?
MARISSA: I’m certainly not surprised. I mean, from the way that he’s been dealing with us, it’s — it’s not a surprise to me, that they have — and, by the way, it’s complete hubris as well. They believe that they can get away with it. They believe that people on our side won’t fight.
GLENN: So, Marissa, what should people do? I know you filed a lawsuit. But what should people do?
MARISSA: So, first of all, we are fighting Goliath. And we know it. Suing Google, slash, YouTube weighed very heavily on us. Obviously, was a very big decision, but we decided that we have to do. And we’ll take any help we can get.
So we have a petition, which obviously brought some awareness to YouTube. And a willingness to at least communicate with us, if you can sign the petition on our website at PragerU.com. That would be immensely helpful. And share it with other people. This specific case is going to be tried in the court of public opinion, as well as in the court of law. And we need you to help us win the public opinion and bring awareness.
If you think about the word “Google,” people think they can — they use it as a verb, right? You can Google anything and find anything. But that is not the case. And the public should be aware of that. So we want everybody talking about that. And, of course, financially, this is not going to be inexpensive. So anybody who can help us in any way — and, by the way, even $5 shows me and my team that we’re not in this alone. So anybody who can give anything at any level is — is hugely encouraging, and we need anything we can get.
GLENN: Marissa, I thank you so much. And your team is truly remarkable. And — and I would go to work for you any day of the week. I think you guys are remarkable. And I’d be proud to be an intern there with the people that you have assembled. I’m sincere. I think you’ve created something really, truly remarkable. And you’re making a difference. And I thank you for that. Thanks, Marissa.
MARISSA: Well, God bless you. Thank you.
GLENN: You bet. PragerU.com.
Now, if you’re a student, you cannot Google this, if you’re using — if you’re at a university. You can’t Google this and find it. This is the problem.
If you are not a student, I want you just to — I want you to Google a couple of things. I want you to Google, why did America fight the Korean War? Prager U. And watch that.
I want you to — I want you to Google, what’s the other one? Why isn’t communism as hated as Naziism?
Google, the world’s most persecuted minority, Christians.
You watch those three things. Those have all been banned now by Google. By YouTube. And you can find them, unless you have settings on your computer that you have set them so your kids can’t watch them. They’ll never pop up for you. If you’re at a university or if you’re at a government institution, you will never be able to find them.
But if you don’t have any filters, you’re going to be able to find it. And I want you to watch those and ask yourself why. Why would those be deleted? Why are those — with everything you can get on YouTube — how many times have you walked in, and you’ve caught your kids online, and you’re like, what the hell are you even watching?
How many times have you walked in on the Disney Channel?
I want you to watch those and tell me what you would say if you walked in and your kids were watching those videos? I’d hug my kids.
Google them. And then do everything you can to support Prager U. PragerU.com.