YouTube Suspends Ripple’s Tech Chief Days After XRP Scam Lawsuit Filing

Schwartz's channel was suspended for impersonation, but he's no idea why.

AccessTimeIconApr 29, 2020 at 10:42 a.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 3:08 a.m. UTC
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YouTube has suspended the channel of Ripple CTO David Schwartz soon after the blockchain firm launched a lawsuit against it over XRP scams in videos.

Schwartz, who also goes by the online moniker "Joel Katz," said Wednesday morning YouTube had suspended his channel. "Weirdly, YouTube just decided to suspend my channel (SJoelKatz) for impersonation. I wonder who they think I was impersonating," he tweeted.

CoinDesk reached out to Schwartz for comment but received none at press time.

YouTube can "terminate" channels that violate the platform's guidelines including for predatory behavior, hate speech, harassment as well as impersonation. Channel owners are prohibited from creating new channels, but they are allowed to submit an appeal request if they think their channel was suspended or terminated in error.

Wednesday's events come a week after Ripple initiated a lawsuit against YouTube on allegations the platform had failed to prevent fake XRP giveaway scams on the platform. The filing states YouTube's unwillingness to suspend scam channels has led to users being defrauded out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, as well as reputational damage for Ripple.

"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," reads the lawsuit.

Schwartz's channel was active for years so the timing of the suspension is interesting, given that it comes so close to the start of legal proceedings. Of course, it may be down to YouTube's moderation algorithms messing up again.

CoinDesk approached YouTube for comment, but hadn't received a response by press time.

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