Ripple files lawsuit against YouTube for failing to stop XRP giveaway scams


Distributed ledger firm Ripple and its CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, have filed suit against video-sharing giant YouTube. 

YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, is being sued for its alleged inaction on the issue of fraudulent scams that have targeted Garlinghouse, among other business leaders. According to a report by Fortune's Jeff John Roberts, Ripple and Garlinghouse are seeking an unspecified amount in damages. 

The complaint states that "Ripple and Mr. Garlinghouse have suffered—and continue to suffer—irreparable harm to their public image, brand, and reputation as a direct consequence ofYouTube’s deliberate and inexplicable failure to address a pervasive and injurious fraud occurring on its platform."

It goes on to allege:

"This fraud—often and dubiously named “the XRP 1 Giveaway” (the “Scam”)—is a third- party attack on Ripple’s brand, Mr. Garlinghouse’s reputation, and XRP holders worldwide. To be sure,the Scam—a pervasive and extended course of conduct detailed in the allegations that follow—oftenrelies upon spear phishing attacks, hacked YouTube accounts, and the misappropriation of Mr.Garlinghouse’s likeness and Ripple marks. But it also depends on, and thrives because of, YouTube’s complacency and unwillingness to take seriously Ripple’s repeated demands for action."

In one example found on YouTube, a video of Garlinghouse being interviewed is accompanied by information in the description that encourages would-be participants to "send between 2 000 XRP to 500 000 XRP to the contribution address and we will immediately send you back between 20 000 XRP to 5 000 000 XRP to the address you sent it from."

It's this kind of activity that Ripple and Garlinghouse have alleged that YouTube is ignoring.

"YouTube generated $15 billion in ad revenue last year, and you're telling me they can't spend more money to police obvious scams that violate their own terms of service?" Garlinghouse told Fortune.

When reached, a YouTube representative told The Block: "We take abuse of our platform seriously, and take action quickly when we detect violations of our policies, such as scams or impersonation."

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May 5, 2022, 3:17PM UTC