According to PragerU, an online conservative organization that commonly advocates pro-life positions, their latest video exposing Planned Parenthood for their lies has been put into “Restricted Mode” by YouTube for reasons that defy explanation. The video, which is narrated by pro-life superstar Lila Rose and delves into Planned Parenthood’s oft-quoted deceptions – such as the myth that only 3% of their organization is dedicated to abortion – was slapped with the censorship shortly after being uploaded onto the site.
YouTube’s Restricted Mode does not affect all users; it is an optional setting that can be employed by parents, schools, and other public venues if they want to keep viewers from accessing certain forms of adult content. So while one can make the claim (and Google, YT’s parent company, does indeed make it) that Restricted Mode is not equivalent to censorship, it is still worth questioning why certain videos get tagged while others do not. Was PragerU’s anti-abortion video tagged because it tackles a sensitive, mature topic…or because it was critical of liberal darling Planned Parenthood?
As it happens, this isn’t the first run-in Dennis Prager – the conservative icon behind the channel – has had with YouTube on this very issue. Indeed, he filed suit against Google last October after more than 40 of PragerU’s videos were put into Restricted Mode by YouTube. In the complaint, he points out that the subject of these videos is clearly not the problem because there are thousands of videos covering similar topics that are not restricted. The only difference? Those videos tackle the subjects from a liberal point of view.
“Watch any one of our videos and you’ll immediately realize that Google/YouTube censorship is entirely ideologically driven,” Prager said in a statement at the time. “For the record, our videos are presented by some of the finest minds in the Western world, including four Pulitzer Prize winners, former prime ministers, and professors from the most prestigious universities in America.”
As far as the Planned Parenthood video is concerned, PragerU tweeted Tuesday that YouTube had removed the Restricted Mode flag from the video “for the time being.” It remains to be seen if it will be re-attached or if YouTube will continue to treat conservative videos with a separate set of standards than they apply to liberal-themed videos.