Fifteen popular YouTube content creators filed a federal lawsuit today against Google and YouTube, alleging that Google and YouTube have breached the Terms of Service those creators had agreed to when they signed on and violated their First Amendment rights.
What started as a rumor of a ‘coming widespread purge” of conservative content producers right before midterm elections in 2018, quickly turned into reality as just weeks before votes were to be cast Facebook disabled 559 pages and 251 accounts. YouTube and Twitter were matching Facebook’s attacks during that time with the beginning of what we have seen come to pass in the last few weeks. Facebook claims they were not censoring anyone when they deleted these profiles and pages.
According to the press release the Plaintiffs are these popular creators of YouTube channels, with collectively lay claim to over 800 million views: JustInformed Talk, SGT Report, X22 Report, SpaceShot 76, TruReporting, RedPill78, Edge of Wonder, Praying Medic, Amazing Polly, Woke Societies, Daniel Lee, Deception Byes, InTheMatrixxx, Destroying the Illusion, and Sarah Westall.
The Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys M. Cris Armenta and Credence Sol. Both are former federal law clerks; Ms. Armenta in the Central District of California, and Ms. Sol in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Ms. Armenta has been named one of the top 100 female attorneys in California and is on the peer‐reviewed SuperLawyers list for civil litigation who fully expect YouTube and Google defend the case and claim that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act provides them immunity for the actions taken against conservative YouTube commentators and content creators.
The lawsuit also alleges that YouTube acted at the behest, was encouraged by and coerced by Congress, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Representative Adam Schiff who published a complaint on Congressional letterhead that urged content be removed and replaced.
The press release goes further to explain: The Plaintiffs allege that under Supreme Court precedent, if a private party acts when it is encouraged or coerced by the government or its agents, then the state action theory applies and the First Amendment rights should be protected, particularly from viewpoint discrimination.
Since Adam Schiff, a sitting representative, personally and publicly in his official capacity asked for social media platforms to begin censoring conservative content providers and YouTube thereafter responded and complied to that request, the door was opened for this lawsuit.
The Plaintiffs expect that they will either receive or be denied an emergency injunction, or a restraining order upon Youtube, requiring that their accounts be reinstated. If the lawsuit proceeds as expected, it is anticipated that the legal issues raised in the complaint may finally settle the issues relating to Big Tech’s immunity from lawsuits under the protection of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
The implications are immense, and the public deserves to be well informed on the progress of this landmark case.
We will continue to provide updates as litigation proceeds.
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – On October 26, 2020, fifteen YouTube content creators filed a federal
lawsuit against Google and YouTube, alleging in seventeen claims for relief, that Google and YouTube
breached the Terms of Service and violated their First Amendment rights, when they summarily deplatformed
the Plaintiffs’ channels and removed their content from YouTube without advance notice.
The Plaintiffs are the creators of YouTube channels, including: JustInformed Talk, SGT Report,
X22 Report, SpaceShot 76, TruReporting, RedPill78, Edge of Wonder, Praying Medic, Amazing Polly,
Woke Societies, Daniel Lee, Deception Byes, InTheMatrixxx, Destroying the Illusion and Sarah Westall.
Together, their news and social commentary channels have reached more than 800 million views and
together they had more YouTube subscribers than many legacy news channels, such as C‐SPAN, The
New York Times, and NBC News. Plaintiffs cite a recent study by the Pew Research Center that concludes
that many Americans get their news from independent YouTube channels along the same metrics as
legacy or traditional news sources.
YouTube and Google are expected to defend the case and claim that Section 230 of the
Communications Decency Act provides them immunity for the actions they took against conservative
commentators, just 19 days before the November 3 Presidential Election. However, the Ninth Circuit
has recently issued an opinion, retreating from the broad interpretation of the immunity that social
media has used for years to defend lawsuits from its contract partners and users. The Section 230
immunities were provided by Congress as a means to give internet providers an ability to remove
content that was considered “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or
otherwise objectionable.” Enigma Software Group USA LLC. V. Malwarebytes, Inc., No. 17‐17351
(Opinion filed September 12, 2019). The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found persuasive the notion
that the “unbounded reading” of Section 230 previously employed by social media giants such as
YouTube would allow a content provider to “block content for anticompetitive purposes or merely at its
The Plaintiffs allege that YouTube removed their channels without giving them notice or without
cause under the Terms of Service that YouTube itself drafted and imposed on the Plaintiffs. The
Plaintiffs allege that YouTube also violated the First Amendment rights of the Plaintiffs, and the public
they serve through their social commentary, news and information channels. Although many courts
have rejected the notion that YouTube is subject to the First Amendment, concluding that YouTube is a
private party, the Complaint alleges that YouTube acted at the behest, was encouraged by and coerced
by Congress, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Representative Adam Schiff. The Plaintiffs attach
to the Complaint letters that Representative Schiff published on Congressional letterhead that urged
that content be removed and replaced. The Plaintiffs also reference the House’s recent action by the
House, in passing House Resolution 1154, which condemned certain content and specifically mentioned
social media. In direct response to Representative Schiff’s published letter demanding censorship,
YouTube Chief Executive Officer Susan Wojcicki responded by Tweet: “Thanks for reaching out, we’re
working every day to protect people from misinformation and help them find authoritative information.
We appreciate your partnership and will continue to consult with Members of Congress as we address
ARMENTA & SOL PC, 114400 WEST BERNARDO COURT, SUITE 300, SAN DIEGO, CA 92127
the evolving issues around #COVID19.” The Plaintiffs allege that under Supreme Court precedent, if a
private party acts when it is encouraged or coerced by the government or its agents, then the state
action theory applies and the First Amendment rights should be protected, particularly from viewpoint
This lawsuit follows the filing of a massive antitrust action against Google by the Department of
Justice and eleven states.
The “state action” theory was previously raised in by Armenta & Sol, on behalf of an African‐
American conservative commentator, Young Pharaoh, in July 2020 also against Google and YouTube.
Although the Defendants in that case filed a Motion to Dismiss and oral argument was held, Magistrate
Judge Virginia DeMarchi has not yet issued a decision.
The lawsuit will be served on Google and YouTube today.
* * *
The Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys M. Cris Armenta and Credence Sol. Both were
previously affiliated with Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP. Both are former federal law clerks;
Ms. Armenta in the Central District of California, and Ms. Sol in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Ms.
Armenta has been named one of the top 100 female attorneys in California and is on the peer‐reviewed
SuperLawyers list for civil litigation. Ms. Armenta is a former member of the Board of Directors of the
American Civil Liberties Union in Los Angeles. Ms. Armenta’s law practice focuses on civil litigation,
entertainment, real estate, and the recovery of abducted children. Ms. Sol’s practice focuses on civil
litigation and intellectual property, in which she has a Ph.D; she has published several articles on
Internet law and international freedom of speech issues. Both Ms. Armenta and Ms. Sol have previously
litigated against Google.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE LAWSUIT:
Hi, my name is Zach Vorhies and I’m known as the Google Whistleblower. I’m working with Ryan Hartwig, Facebook Whistleblower on this campaign.
I worked at Google for 8.5 years as a senior software engineer. The last three years of which was spent at Google-owned YouTube.
With much regret, my former employer YouTube has now become a direct threat to the United States of America and the Republic for which it stands. YouTube is engaging in reckless censorship by doing a mass purge of content creators it deems “brand unsafe.”
Why would Google take actions that seemingly squash the clear exchange of ideas and differing points of view? Doesn’t that seem to interfere with free speech? The election? In fact, this is EXACTLY the case. Google is deliberately attempting to influence the election by preventing certain opinions from being shared.
Here are just a few of the Youtube channels that were deleted last week by Google/Youtube:
This behavior is nothing short of an election coup!
People may think that the phrase “election coup” is too strong, maybe even hyperbole. Google wouldn’t ACTUALLY want to do a coup… would they?
As someone who saw the inside of Google, my answer to this is: “Yes, without ANY doubt”.
I know because I saw it with my own eyes. It took me several years of watching Google build this election-rigging machine before I came to the conclusion that Google would certainly try to steal the 2020 election. This was not something they tried to hide. Instead, they carefully documented as a huge project named “Machine Learning Fairness” – which I downloaded and disclosed to the public in August of 2019. The disclosure is 950 pages and can be seen here.
Don’t just take my word for it, Jen Gennai, a current high level Google director, admitted last year to an undercover journalist that only something the size of Google could “prevent the next Trump situation”.
As a former employee, I understand the scale of Google. I am terrified about what could happen to me for fighting the biggest election rigging machine the world has ever known.
What is one small individual like myself compared to this GIANT? If I were Google I would have this company whistleblower killed. Does this sound outlandish? Here is what Google did to me when I sent that 950 pages to the DOJ in August of 2019:
What you see here is a wellness check that included the San Francisco Police department, the FBI and the Bomb squad. I wish I was making this up but it actually happened.
This is a David VS Goliath moment
The only thing that terrifies me more than dying and my family being targeted is the world that Google is building for all of us. This is really our last stand. This is more than a coup on the US election, if Google wins it will be a coup on humanity. Why? Because Google see’s YOU as a programmable unit; programmable via its control of the information they return to you when you use Google search, Google news and YouTube. For example, this Google slide details how the company manipulates you.
This intention to program YOU (the American Public) is also found in other documents from the company:
This is not a “Left vs Right” or “Conservative vs Liberal” issue
This fight has nothing to do with politics. It is a fight for the future of humanity. I do this not just for you, but also for your children, your children’s children and for generations to come. They deserve the free world that we inherited. The torch of freedom must be passed on.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to stand together and fight against Google. As a single person I mean nothing. It has always been YOU, the American people that has made this fight possible. Together Google CAN and WILL be stopped!
Stand with me and FIGHT NOW! I am putting $5k of my own money into this to say “no more”. Others have done the same. Stand with us with a donation of $5, $10 or $15 dollars which together will fund this emergency injunction.
Amplify, share and like this story as much as Big Tech will allow. Time is of the essence. We are being censored. Go NOW to all social media platforms and SHARE punchgoogle.com. Share it with your friends, your family and your co-workers.
Regardless of your political affiliation, together we can TOPPLE Google and restore freedom of speech to our land. Pledge now. And make sure you tell your friends about this campaign found at punchgoogle DOT com (which will redirect to this gofundme).
About the Attorney Cris Armenta
I want to mention that I (Zach Vorhies) did an extensive vetting of many attorneys across the country. Cris Armenta was the one with the strongest knowledge about how to defeat Google.
The necessary criteria for selection includes:
1. The attorney practices in California.
2. The attorney has specific knowledge and strategy on how to attack YouTube/Google.
3. The attorney are prepared to file the suit immediately.
It turns out the Google/YouTube terms of service requires that the person sue Google in California. Although the venue could possibly be challenged in court, doing so adds additional risk.
What sealed the deal beyond the conversation about legal strategy was also the coincidence that Cris Armenta was also selected by my friend and YouTube content creator “Young Pharaoh” (500k subs on YouTube) to represent him in his case against YouTube. Cris Armenta’s case history against Google means she has a well thought out strategy. After going in depth and playing a bunch of angles with Cris Armenta during the vetting process it was clear why “Young Pharaoh” chose Cris Armenta to represent him.
This is essentially a breach of contract lawsuit against Google.
Here’s the brief summary of our strategy:
1. Case to be filed by the top conservative accounts that were purged on October 15, 2020.
2. Google/YouTube violated its own Terms of Service by shutting down the accounts because they can only do so when 3 conditions existed by their own TOS.
3. They claim they were shut down for repeated violations and harassment.
4. But, the channels were not repeaters nor did they harass, and the new harassment policy was enacted in a way to complete decimate these channels specifically.
5. The Plaintiffs will be seeking a TRO or emergency injunction to put the channels back up.
6. The Plaintiffs have a First Amendment right to speak, large reach, and there is “state action” in so far as Representative Schiff demanded that “conspiracy” channels come down and HR 1154 condemned the type of speech up on these channels.
7. This is a First Amendment case, but it will be simplified by holding YouTube accountable to the very TOS it itself imposed.
8. The attorneys involved have extensive experience in litigating with Google and are shaping up the case to either win at the Ninth Circuit (President flipped the circuit) or to create clear path for the amendment of Section 230.
9. Last week, SCOTUS declined to hear the case where the Ninth Circuit said that 230 immunity is NOT “boundless.”
10. We have a good chance of success and paring back the Section 230 immunity and getting the conservative pro-Trump content back up before the election, just in time, if we are funded adequately.
An in-depth discussion about the legal strategy can be viewed in the following video (around 45 minutes).https://www.youtube.com/embed/BLrzP2rBgDw/?rel=0&enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gofundme.com
Q: When will the injunction be filed?
A: Assuming this crowdfunding reaches the funding goal, the injunction will be filed by the end of the week. Around the 26th or sooner.
Q: Can I be a party to the suit?
A: Yes, we have an open call for those that have been wrongly terminated by YouTube for political reasons. If this sounds like you, please fill out this form.
Q: Is a class action status being considered?
Q: How can I book an interview with Zach?
A: Use this link to book a zoom meeting.
Q: Can the donation be tax deductible?
A: Yes! We allow a tax-deductible charitable donation, just follow this link.
Q: Who is Ryan Hartwig and why is he connected to this campaign?
A: Ryan Hartwig is a Facebook whistleblower that I have been working with for a number of months. Ryan has an Arizona non-profit. All funds will be donated to legal fees and costs.
The donations will be used to fund a lawsuit against Google, YouTube and Alphabet directed to speech that is protected by the First Amendment and that was purged from YouTube through demonetizations, terminations or suspensions in violation of the YouTube Terms of Service. The donations will be used to fund attorneys’ fees and costs on behalf of the named Plaintiffs in the lawsuit, and any Plaintiffs thereafter added. All donations of any amount are welcome, but only funds from U.S. citizens and permanent residents will be accepted. All donated funds will be used solely to defray attorneys’ fees and other costs related to this legal representation. By donating, the donors agree that they understand that they have no authority to direct the representation or have access to confidential client or privileged communications. Any unused funds at the conclusion of the representation will be returned to The Hartwig Foundation for Free Speech.