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Google, Facebook And Others Not Bound By First Amendment, Judge Rules

Google, Facebook And Others Not Bound By First Amendment, Judge Rules

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) parent company of Google has the freedom to censor content on its video platform YouTube court rules.

What Happened

Internet companies such as YouTube, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR), and others are not constrained by the First Amendment, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously. This gives internet platforms the freedom to restrict user speech or content.

Prager University (PragerU), a conservative non-profit, had sued Alphabet and YouTube after many of its videos were marked inappropriate by YouTube. 

Judge M. Margaret Mckeown, one of the three presiding judges remarked on the nature of Google’s video-sharing platform, “It remains a private forum, not a public forum subject to judicial scrutiny under the First Amendment,” reported the Wall Street Journal.

Why It Matters

Freedom of speech has been a hot topic surrounding Silicon Valley companies such as Facebook and YouTube. Restrictions on advertising and content on social media and other online platforms have generated controversy regarding bias.

Groups such as LGBT+ creators also allege a violation of First Amendment rights by private Internet companies and have taken Google and YouTube to court.

PragerU has also sued YouTube in the state court under stricter California anti-discrimination, free-speech, and consumer-contract laws. 

Price Action

Alphabet Class A shares traded 0.45% lower at $1,384.22 in the after-hours session on Wednesday. The shares had closed the regular session 0.30% higher at $1,390.47. 

The company’s Class C shares traded 0.34% higher at $1,393.18 in the regular session on Wednesday. The shares were unchanged in the after-hours session.


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