Ripple drags YouTube to court over crypto scams

Fake XRP giveaway scams are becoming a trend on the popular video-sharing social media platform, YouTube. And this has led to Ripple dragging them to court, accusing them of not putting adequate preventive measures to discourage such scams.

The CEO of Ripple, Brad Garlinghouse, added that the scam resulted in monetary losses as well as damage to the reputation of Ripple Labs. He maintained that all of this could have been avoided if YouTube had paid closer attention to policing its platform.

About the lawsuit

According to the case filing, the “XRP giveaway” scams involved convincing unsuspecting victims to send some amount of XRP to a hijacked account promising a greater amount of XRP tokens as a reward.

Incidentally, “giveaway scams” are also quite notorious on other social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, etc.

Garlinghouse in a series of tweets pointed out that although other platforms were also guilty of similar scams, YouTube had the most cases. According to him, this prompted Ripple to file the lawsuit.

Garlinghouse further highlighted the continuous failure of social media platforms in preventing scams, leaving many people hurt and defrauded. He noted that instead of actively putting plans in place to stop such scams, “big tech continue to drag their feet”.

The payment processor alleged that victims over time had lost “millions of XRP valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars”. One of the examples cited to bolster the claim mentioned a user losing $15,000 worth of XRP to a scammer.

Ripple’s arguments against YouTube

Ripple also disclosed that it had sent at least 25 takedown notice to the video-sharing platform. Yet YouTube had failed to take any real action against such scams. Ripple also pointed out instances where some of the scams openly and repeatedly replicating on the platform. According to the suit, all this had left the Ripple Lab and its entire ecosystem vulnerable to a bad reputation.

Even steeper allegations cited in the lawsuit stated that YouTube was profiting from the scams. 

“YouTube, after it was informed about the Scam on countless occasions, sold and helped the scammers disseminate advertisements—so-called “video discovery ads”—to get more YouTube visitors to view and click on videos perpetuating the Scam.”

Ripple has thus asked the court to compel YouTube to follow through with its legal responsibility. The suit demanded that the video-sharing platform should “discontinue its policy of willful inaction, and to prevent further irreparable harm to Ripple’s brand and Mr. Garlinghouse’s reputation, which, in turn, will prevent further financial injury to the individuals who are duped by the Scam and interest”.

YouTube and crypto

YouTube has been a huge critic of cryptocurrency and the blockchain industry as a whole. Over time it has carried out crypto purge – deleting crypto contents and at times reinstating them. 

This lawsuit could, however, take an interesting turn. In a bid to prevent crypto scam, YouTube might blacklist all forms of crypto terms like Ripple, Bitcoin XRP, etc on its platform. If this happens, content creators will be at the receiving end.

Facebook has also faced similar lawsuits for allowing scam ads to thrive on its platform. We had previously covered an article on how to recognize crypto scammers.


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