Wozniak Sues YouTube for Hosting Bitcoin Video Scams Exploiting His Image

(Photograph by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Photos for Discovery)

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is suing Google’s YouTube for failing to take down Bitcoin video scams that’ve been utilizing his picture to defraud victims. 

In line with Wozniak, YouTube has ignored his pleas to take down the “Bitcoin giveaway” movies, which have been circulating on the platform for months. The movies entice viewers to ship Bitcoin to a digital pockets and promise double the quantity again. However in actuality, victims get nothing. 

On Tuesday, Wozniak and 17 victims of the fraud filed a lawsuit in opposition to YouTube, demanding the platform take away the Bitcoin rip-off movies and pay damages. “Wozniak has suffered and continues to endure irreparable hurt to his repute, and YouTube customers, together with plaintiffs, have been defrauded out of thousands and thousands of ,” the grievance claims. 

Example of the scams, as seen in the lawsuit. Instance of the scams, as seen within the lawsuit.

The rip-off movies have been ensnaring unsuspecting victims with the assistance of YouTube’s suggestion algorithms and promoting instruments. Because of this, YouTube is not directly benefiting from the scams, the lawsuit claims.

“YouTube takes its lower of those illegally gotten proceeds by knowingly and willingly promoting those self same fraudsters focused promoting that drive further YouTube customers to the fraudulent promotions and movies, thereby additional fueling the rip-off and holding the cash flowing,” the grievance provides. 

Wozniak isn’t the one celeb who’s been featured within the movies. Others have used previous video interviews of Elon Musk, Invoice Gates, and Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin to advertise the Bitcoin giveaways, which fake to be airing dwell footage. In some instances, the movies have allegedly carried a YouTube verification badge, lending the scammers much more legitimacy. 

Bill Gates and Elon Musk featured in the scams.Invoice Gates and Elon Musk are additionally featured within the scams.

Beginning on Could 10, Wozniak repeatedly requested YouTube pull down the movies. However he says he was by no means capable of attain a human staffer. “If YouTube had acted shortly to cease this to an affordable extent, we’d not be right here now,” Wozniak stated in a press release. 

“YouTube, like Google, appears to depend on algorithms and no particular effort requiring customized software program employed shortly in these instances of felony exercise,” he added. “If against the law is being dedicated, you MUST be capable to attain people able to stopping it.”

In response to the lawsuit, YouTube stated: “We take abuse of our platform critically, and take motion shortly after we detect violations of our insurance policies, reminiscent of scams or impersonation.” An organization spokesperson added that the platform has strict insurance policies and instruments in place designed to detect, thwart and warn customers about fraud.

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