Feb. 27 (UPI) -- A federal appeals court has ruled against a conservative nonprofit that accused YouTube and its owner Google of violating its right to freedom of speech.
The San Francisco court declined to reinstate a lawsuit by Prager University that accused YouTube of breaching its First Amendment rights by placing some of its videos in "restricted mode" because they promote a conservative point of view.
The court reasoned that YouTube is a private company and isn't bound by the First Amendment to ensure PragerU's freedom of expression.
"PragerU's attempt to foist a 'public forum' label on YouTube by claiming that YouTube declared itself a public forum ... fails," the 16-page ruling states. "YouTube's representation that it is committed to freedom of expression ... cannot somehow convert private property into a public forum.
"Whether a property is a public forum is not a matter of election by a private entity. We decline to subscribe to PragerU's novel opt-in theory of the First Amendment."
Prager University said YouTube also violated federal law against deceptive advertising, which the court also rejected.
"YouTube's braggadocio about its commitment to free speech constitutes opinions," it said.
Conservative groups have long complained that social media Internet platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are trying to shut down conservative points of view and should be held legally liable.