A recent miscarriage of justice said video hosting giant YouTube is not responsible for digital currency-related scams posted on its platform.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak did not support his lawsuit against YouTube over an ad that used his image to promote a fake Bitcoin (BTC) gift, Bloomberg reports.
Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Sunil Kulkarnia said in a provisional ruling Wednesday that YouTube and its parent company Google are protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a federal law that protects Internet platforms responsible for the content posted by users.
Wozniak sued YouTube in July last year for a typical fake digital currency draw that said anyone who sends digital currency to a certain address will receive more digital currency in return. The Apple co-founder argued that YouTube not only did not remove the fraudulent ads, but “materially contributed” to the scam by selling video-targeted ads and falsely verifying the YouTube channels that broadcast them.
“If YouTube had acted quickly to stop this to a reasonable extent, we wouldn’t be here now. What human being would see posts like these and not ban them as criminals right away?” He said. In the lawsuit, Wozniak reported that YouTube-like cryptographic scams also took advantage of other tech celebrities such as Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
However, Judge Kulkarnia said these factors were not sufficient to challenge the immunity provided by Section 230. The judge gave Wozniak 30 days to try to review his complaint.
Wozniak isn’t the first entrepreneur to lose his battle against fake YouTube ads. Last July, YouTube lawyers filed a dismissal offer in a similar case filed by major encryption company Ripple Labs, arguing that the platform was not responsible for any content, including scams, provided by third parties.
The latest court ruling comes on the same day that Google overturned its 2018 policy banning encryption exchanges from using its advertising services.