Ripple to Sue YouTube for Allowing 'Scams' Promising Free XRP
Ripple Labs and CEO Brad Garlinghouse are in the process of suing video-streaming platform YouTube over allegations that they have failed to monitor their platform against fake XRP giveaway scams, resulting in monetary damages to users and reputational harm to Ripple itself.
The lawsuit centres around 'XRP Giveaway' scams which rely on hijacked accounts and other means to fool users into believing that if they send some of their currently held XRP, they will receive a larger amount in return.
In a string of tweets, Garlinghouse said YouTube was the 'epicentre' of these scams, though he said other platforms like Instagram were also guilty.
"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," - he said.
According to the suit, Ripple claims the scammers have successfully swindled 'millions of XRP valued at hundreds of thousands of dollar' out of sufferers. It cited at least one instance where a scammer allegedly received $15,000 in XRP from one user.
"Ripple has repeatedly demanded that YouTube take action to stop the Scam and prevent further harm. Yet YouTube refuses, even where the same scheme is replicated time and again on its platform. YouTube’s response has been woefully inadequate and incomplete. As a result, Ripple and Mr. Garlinghouse continue to suffer substantial reputational harm," - the suit said.
Ripple sent at least 25 takedown notices upon accounts advertising such giveaways, but YouTube failed to act punctually, the suit alleges.
Among the allegations, Ripple says the Google subsidiary assists the scammers to distribute ads and profits off of this revenue:
"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."
The suit asks a federal court to force YouTube to shut down any claimed scams which use Ripple's registered trademarks to promote the aforementioned giveaways, to be more proactive in shutting down future alleged scams, to stop verifying any such alleged scams, and for damages, restitution, costs and interest.
Read the full suit below: