Radio host Dennis Prager told Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) during a Senate committee hearing that he feels as though he is in a comedy skit after listening to a Google VP’s explanation as to why a PragerU video on the ten commandments has been placed on YouTube’s “restricted” list along with pornographic and violent videos. The “restricted” listing by Google prevents schools, libraries, and others from showing PragerU videos to young people — which Prager noted is PragerU’s target audience.
Dennis Prager said during Tuesday’s committee hearing that he has never gotten an explanation from Google as to why PragerU videos are being placed in the “restricted mode” category, that is, until Karan Bhatia delivered what Prager referred to as a comedic explanation during Tuesday’s hearing.
The Google executive noted that a PragerU video on the ten commandments had been placed in “restricted mode” due to mentions of murder.
“So — we have a solution, we’ll put up [a video] without ‘thou shalt not murder’ in it,” quipped Prager of his video on the ten commandments. “I feel like I’m in a Monty Python skit here, when [a Google executive] says something like that.”
“The only possible explanation for all of this is they don’t like PragerU, because we’re a very, very influential conservative voice touching a lot of lives,” affirmed Prager, “There is no other explanation.”
“If [videos] cannot be seen by any family that restricts pornography and violence, if no school can see it — if no library can show it, that’s a very serious restriction,” said Prager, “especially given that our target audience is young people. So they’re depriving us of the very people that we most want to touch with our message.”
“We know that many teachers try to show our videos in classes, and they can do it on their own, but they can’t do it through the school,” added Prager.
Senator Blackburn also noted that “Google is not an equal opportunity platform” during Tuesday’s committee hearing. “I am concerned about the threat to competition that Google poses, and how search prioritization harms new startups that are seeking to enter the marketplace,” stated the senator.
“You claimed in an op-ed that Google is not politically biased, yet you acknowledge that Google took down or limited the reach of conservative content and accounts and only did so mistakenly,” said Blackburn.
“If you want us to believe that Google is an equal opportunity search engine and not an equal opportunity offender, let me clarify exactly what an equal playing field would look like for you all at Google,” continued the senator. “Should Google equally promote news articles in its search results whether the article be from the Huffington Post or Breitbart?”
Bhatia responded by pausing momentarily before eventually claiming that Google “surfaces the results that are most responsive.”
“Reports surfaced that Google employees sought to block Breitbart from Google AdSense less than one month after President Trump took office,” continued Blackburn, “Google employees sought to use what they called ‘hate speech’ as a pretense for banning Breitbart.”
The Google executive reacted to Blackburn’s inquiry by insisting that the tech giant has never enacted policies intending to block certain companies for political reasons.