A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender YouTube content creators who said the company violated their First Amendment rights by “censoring” their clips.
In a decision issued Wednesday, U.S. District Court Magistrate Virginia DeMarchi in San Jose ruled that Google and YouTube are “private entities,” as opposed to government officials, and therefore are not bound by the First Amendment’s prohibition against restricting speech. “Plaintiffs do not state a claim … for violation of the First Amendment because defendants are not state actors,” – Judge Virginia DeMarchiMediaPost
The lawsuit brought by the Divino Group — which distributes GNews! via YouTube — and other LGBT content creators. claimed that YouTube “censored” them by preventing ads from running in some of their videos, placing age restrictions on clips, and tagging other clips with a “restricted mode” aka “mature” audiences designation.
Judge DeMarchi dismissed the claim that Google violated the users’ free speech rights with prejudice — meaning that Divino and the others can’t redraft their complaint and bring that claim again citing a ruling that a federal appellate court sided with Google last year, in a similar lawsuit brought by the anti-LGBT Prager University.