Centralized platforms have always been a problem for the crypto industry, and the same is the case with video streaming giant YouTube. There have been numerous acts of scams and fraudulent activities involving cryptocurrencies on the platform, but the company hasn’t made any moves to address these.
Previously we’ve seen YouTube crackdown on cryptocurrencies, by taking down thousands of crypto-related videos citing “harmful or dangerous content”.
But when the platform was sued by blockchain payments company Ripple, and it’s co-founder Brad Garlinghouse, accusing the platform of for not taking any action regarding scammers impersonating Garlinghouse to dupe investors, YouTube claimed that it was immune to liability because the content was created by third parties and not the platform itself.
However, it seems that Garlinghouse wasn’t the only victim as the company is now being sued for not acting quickly to ban such content, by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak along with 17 other plaintiffs who were also affected by these crypto scams.
A July 22 announcement from the law firm of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, notes both Google and YouTube failed to protect its users from fake Bitcoin scams featuring images of Wozniak and other influential people.
These scams are quite common these days where the culprits dupe victims of their crypto by asking them to send crypto to the scammer’s address in hopes that they’ll receive more than what they’ll send.
“If YouTube had acted quickly to stop this to a reasonable extent, we would not be here now,” Wozniak noted.
“YouTube, like Google, seems to rely on algorithms and no special effort requiring custom software was employed quickly in these cases of criminal activity. If a crime is being committed, you must be able to reach humans capable of stopping it. What human would see posts like these and not ban them as criminal immediately?”
Joe Cotchett, a partner at Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, claims that YouTube “knowingly allowed the Bitcoin scam to go on for months, promoted it, and profited from it by selling targeted advertising.”
The complaint comprises of plaintiffs from the United States, Canada, the U.K., Japan, Malaysia, China, and Europe who were victims of the BTC scam.
The case is very similar to the one brought by Ripple Labs. However, Ripple’s case was filed in federal court while Wozniak’s legal team will be heard by a judge in the Superior Court of the State of California in the County of San Mateo, a state-run court.
Wozniak and his legal team are set to hold an in-person and virtual press conference on July 23 at 11:00 AM PST in Burlingame, California.
YouTube and Google are now under legal pressure and must take steps to address these issues. The platform might be implementing separate policies exclusively for crypto, or entirely side-line the tech to avoid future cases like these.
Crypto advocates stand against Ad Ban
On the other hand, a Sydney based law firm representing a group of crypto entrepreneurs and investors has filed a class-action lawsuit in response to the crypto advertising ban imposed by tech giants Google, Facebook, and Twitter in late 2017 and early 2018.
According to a report by the Daily Mail Australia, the no-win, no-fee case, organized by JPB Liberty is being funded by institutional litigation funders, venture capital funds, and “ideologically aligned investors.”
Per the filing, the plaintiffs claim that their businesses were hurt as a result of the ban on advertising crypto-related products.
The law firm hence seeks a complete lifting of the crypto ad ban, damages for losses in cryptocurrencies, a public apology to the crypto industry, and free advertising on Facebook, Google, and Twitter for all crypto projects harmed by the ban for as long as the ban has been in place.
The class-action lawsuit is also being advertised by the law firm’s website where both individuals and companies can sign up to join the lawsuit.