YouTube lambasted for not stopping scams; Google to pay $118 million to settle sex discrimination lawsuit
In today’s ExchangeWire news digest: YouTube comes under fire for failing to stop Bitcoin scams on the platform; Google agrees to pay US$118bn (£95.7m) to settle gender discrimination lawsuit; and Shopify is launching Audiences to help merchants circumvent Apple’s new privacy changes.
YouTube faces backlash over Musk Bitcoin scams
The YouTube video-sharing platform has been criticized for its inaction against cybercriminals scamming viewers with fake videos of Elon Musk.
The criminals posted videos on hacked YouTube accounts to promote fake cryptocurrency giveaways. According to the BBC, the crime network deceived tens of thousands of YouTube viewers over several months, encouraging them to part with the cryptocurrency to enter a raffle allegedly organized by the Tesla boss.
The crooks are believed to gain access to existing YouTube accounts by buying login credentials leaked in previous data breaches. They work by changing the name and image of the hacked channels so that they replicate the channels run by Tesla, Musk’s electric car maker. Reports suggest the scammers have earned US$98m (£79.5m) in 2021 from the fake videos and have raised US$30m (£24.3m) so far this year.
Accounts used by the criminals include that of Chilean urban music artist Aisack, who said he felt “completely violated and insecure” following the hack. The musician added, “YouTube doesn’t do enough on security issues to prevent hacker attacks because many users are in the same situation as me.”
Last Tuesday (June 7), Elon Musk slammed the platform for failing to crack down on “fraudulent ads”, despite YouTube maintaining that it removes flagged channels. The platform told the BBC: “We have strict community guidelines prohibiting scams, including impersonation and hacking.”
Google agrees to pay $118 million to settle sex discrimination lawsuit
Google will pay US$118m (£95.7m) following a class action suit concerning gender discrimination within the company. As part of the settlement, the tech giant must also organize an independent assessment of its hiring process and pay equity studies.
The long-running lawsuit first opened in 2017 when Google was accused of violating California’s equal pay law. Three employees of the company – Kelly Ellis, Holly Pease and Kelli Wisuri – claimed that Google paid women about $17,000 (£13,797) less than their male counterparts, in addition to limiting their opportunities for higher pay rises and bonuses by confining them to lower-paying careers. The lawsuit, which ultimately represented complaints from 15,500 women at the company, ruled in favor of the plaintiffs last year.
Commenting on the settlement, plaintiff Holly Pease said, “As a woman who has spent her entire career in the tech industry, I am optimistic that the steps Google has agreed to take under this settlement will ensure more equity for women.
In a statement to The Verge, Google said: “While we strongly believe in the fairness of our policies and practices, after nearly five years of litigation, both parties have agreed that the resolution of the case, without any admission nor conclusion, was the best. everyone’s interest, and we are very happy to have concluded this agreement.
This gender discrimination lawsuit isn’t the only one examining Google’s treatment of workers. In 2021, the company settled a lawsuit claiming it was underpaying female engineers and discriminating against Asian applicants by agreeing to pay US$2.5m (£2m). An investigation into allegations of discrimination and harassment against black employees at the company is still ongoing.
Shopify is rolling out ‘Audiences’ to fight Apple’s privacy changes
Multinational e-commerce company Shopify launched a new feature to help merchants fight Apple’s new privacy changes.
The Canadian company’s Audiences feature was created to help marketers find customers on Instagram and Facebook as new Apple policies have made it increasingly difficult for brands to measure digital advertising and target users on both platforms. And it wasn’t just merchants who expected to lose out on Apple’s privacy changes – Meta predicted the new measures would cost Facebook US$10bn (£8bn) this year.
AI Audiences to anonymously collect purchase intent data from merchants and shoppers. So far, the feature is only available to Shopify Plus customers – merchants who pay the company’s $2,000 (£1,623.16) monthly fee – although the company has indicated that it plans to bring Audiences to other platforms, such as Snap and TikTok.
The Audiences rollout comes just days after the Ottawa-based startup lost one of his longtime supporters, Mawer Investment Management. From the company Research director Vijay Viswanathan said Mawer walked away from Shopify over concerns about increased competition and risk in e-commerce.
While Shopify’s market value topped US$200bn (£162bn) in market value during the coronavirus pandemic, its stock has crashed 75% this year.