- Ripple yesterday officially filed an indictment against YouTube after a variety of scam videos promise free XRP and have not been removed from the platform.
- Ripple calls for more aggressive action against fraudsters on YouTube and other social media platforms.
YouTube and Twitter are popular gathering places for scams, where supposedly well-known figures of the crypto market, such as Vitalik Buterin or Brad Garlinghouse give away free Ether (ETH) or XRP. Hackers gain access to the official accounts or create accounts that look very similar to the alleged original and promise a giveaway. Ripple has looked at these developments long enough and is now drawing consequences for YouTube’s lax handling of such scams.
Ripple files suit against YouTube
Ripple Labs and its CEO Brad Garlinghouse have sued the video platform YouTube for failing to take action against XRP scams in any form. This damages Ripple’s reputation and has also resulted in financial losses for the company. The lawsuit primarily cites so-called “XRP giveaways”, which promise the victim a greater reward if they send a corresponding amount of XRP to a supposed address.
Garlinghouse explains on Twitter that YouTube is the “epicenter” of these alleged scams, but other platforms such as Instagram and Twitter are also affected:
Across the industry, social media companies have failed to police their platforms from being abused by the entirely preventable imposter giveaway scams. Hundreds of people (including some of you) have been hurt, yet big tech continues to drag their feet.
Ripple had already contacted YouTube several times in the past and requested the termination or deletion of more than 25 different accounts. However, the platform had failed to react appropriately quickly and thoroughly. Garlinghouse therefore demands that the platform take tougher measures, react faster and improve monitoring for such scams. According to Garlinghouse, no satisfactory result has been achieved to date, so Ripple has been forced to file a lawsuit.
The complaint states that “millions of XRP worth hundreds of thousands of dollars” have been stolen to date. Allegedly, YouTube even supports the fraudsters and also profits from the proceeds:
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.
A federal court is expected to force YouTube to take immediate action to end its deliberate inaction and prevent further financial damage to Ripple. YouTube has so far made only a brief and concise statement in a standard response to the complaint:
We take abuse of our platform seriously, and take action quickly when we detect violations of our policies, such as scams or impersonation.
Garlinghouse also showed an example of a fake account on Twitter that looks very similar to the original:
YouTube’s inertia is indicative of an industry-wide problem of a lack of accountability. Victims are forced to jump through hoops to report these scams, and oftentimes that doesn’t even work – ex: when @Instagram told me I wasn’t being impersonated (3/4) https://t.co/ILhS0AcPb2
— Brad Garlinghouse (@bgarlinghouse) April 21, 2020
Crypto-Scams have a long history
Unfortunately, scams and supposedly free promised cryptocurrencies cast a bad light on the entire industry. The PlusToken Scam was able to steal more than 40,000 Bitcoins and 800,000 Ether, making it one of the biggest hacks in history. Some experts believe that the scammers were even able to influence the prices of the entire market with their loot.
Recently, the YouTube channel of Pogo was also hacked. Hackers took over the channel and promised to send free Bitcoin and Ether to the victims if the victims sent a certain amount of money to the scammers’ wallet.
Meanwhile, the price of XRP is following the current market trend, dropping 0.57% in the last 24 hours to a price of $0.1845.