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YouTube Shuns Fault for Crypto Scam in Dismissal Bid (2)

Jake Holland
Written by publisher team

YouTube said it’s not wrong that crypto scammers are using its platform, in moving Monday to dismiss a lawsuit by Ripple Labs Inc.

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act “categorically forbids” such lawsuits, and Alphabet Corporation Google’s unit said in a motion in the US District Court for the Northern District of California.

The proposal shows how video-sharing platforms rely on a section of the 1996 law that states that computer services should not be treated as a publisher or speaker of other service providers’ content.

A Ripple representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A YouTube spokesperson said, “We take abuse of our platform seriously and take prompt action when we discover violations.”

Ripple filed a lawsuit against YouTube in April, claiming it failed to stop bad actors from using the video-sharing platform to provide fraudulent “gifts” that encouraged viewers to send XRP, the blockchain company’s digital currency.

Ripple claims that the scam took hundreds of thousands of dollars from victims, and damaged the Ripple brand and the image of CEO Bradley Garlinghouse.

YouTube said in its movement that there was “no reasonable claim” that the video-sharing platform used Garlinghouse’s identity. The company also said it was not enough to claim that YouTube merely contributed to the embezzlement.

In the lawsuit filed in April, Ripple alleged that YouTube granted a verification badge to a compromised channel and also profited from fraud by “intentionally selling” paid ads on behalf of fraudsters impersonating Ripple.

YouTube said in its movement that these badges did not change third-party content into material created or developed by the social media giant, and added that “unintentional verification” of the fraudulent account was not in itself illegal.

The company noted that Section 230 “prohibits claims against website operators because of their editorial functions, such as posting comments related to third party postings, so long as such comments are not themselves enforceable.”

The case is: Ripple Labs Inc. et al. v. YouTube LLC, ND Cal., No. 3: 20-cv-02747, motion 7/20/20

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