Conservative video maker Prager University refiled a lawsuit against Google’s YouTube on Tuesday, taking its free speech case against the companies to state court. Prager complains YouTube restricted some of its videos to certain audiences, limiting the potential advertising revenue that can be made on its content. Attorneys for Prager argue that YouTube positions itself as a public forum, and therefore shouldn’t be allowed to curate content because of First Amendment protections.
Prager’s complaint also alleges that YouTube is a “politically partisan work place environment,” where “employees who express dissenting views on politics” are sanctioned. Prager filed a similar case in federal court, which was dismissed by Judge Lucy Koh last year and is currently being appealed.
Legal experts say the challenges are unlikely to succeed. But the Prager lawsuits are part of a larger effort aimed at limiting tech firms’ ability to enforce their own terms on their platforms, which The Information previously reported. The challenges involve fringe political activists and, increasingly, conservative lawmakers such as Ted Cruz, who publicly questioned YouTube attorney Juniper Downs about the Prager case during Congressional hearings last summer.