One of many largest crypto commentators on YouTube has filed a lawsuit towards a fellow YouTuber for “defamatory and damaging statements,” looking for to recuperate damages.
Ben Armstrong, who manufacturers himself as BitBoy Crypto, says Erling Mengshoel Jr., a.okay.a. Atozy, posted a video on YouTube entitled “This Youtuber Scams His Fans… BitBoy Crypto” in November 2021. The lawsuit claims a laundry record of offenses in that video, together with defamation, infliction of emotional misery, tortious interference with enterprise relations or potential enterprise relations, violation of the Uniform Misleading Practices Act, and violation of the Honest Enterprise Practices Act.
The submitting says Mengshoel “repeatedly calls Armstrong a ‘dirtbag,’ stating that he’s a ‘shady dirtbag’ and a ‘dirtbag YouTuber.’”
Armstrong has 1.44 million subscribers and has netted 212 million views since launching his channel in February 2018. Mengshoel has 1.23 million subscribers, with 223 million views since March 2012.
The grievance and jury demand was filed within the U.S. District Courtroom for the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta yesterday, deemed by Armstrong’s authorized counsel to be the suitable venue as Armstrong lives in Acworth, Georgia, whereas Mengshoel lives in Sterling, Virginia.
It’s a federal swimsuit as a result of it includes influence and losses in extra of $75,000.
Mengshoel and Armstrong didn’t reply to requests for remark from Decrypt.
Nonetheless, Armstrong’s lawsuit gives an intensive recounting of Mengshoel’s feedback about him.
“In case you didn’t know what an absolute sleezy dirtbag of a YouTuber is, right here’s BitBoy Crypto, a first-rate instance of that,” Mengshoel says in his video, as recounted within the submitting.
Armstrong’s lawsuit claims Mengshoel instantly assaults his livelihood by saying that he’s “not somebody you need to be wanting as much as for any recommendation by any means,” and “can’t be trusted with monetary recommendation since you don’t know whether or not he’s attempting to complement you or himself.”
There’s, nevertheless, a contradiction between what Armstrong asserts in his lawsuit and what he presents on-line in his disclaimers.
“[Armstrong]’s enterprise mannequin depends on his status and his standing as an ‘influencer,’ i.e., a well known on-line persona who influences others’ selections comparable to to purchase or promote cryptocurrency as investments,” the grievance reads, introducing as truth that he’s “an industry-leading supply of dependable commentary with respect to investments in cryptocurrency.”
Additional, the lawsuit asks, “Can there be a extra damaging assertion for somebody like BitBoy Crypto who engages within the enterprise of offering recommendation and commentary on cryptocurrency investments?”
However on Armstrong’s YouTube channel, he says his content material is “for common info functions solely,” and cautions, “Please be suggested that I’m not an expert advisor in enterprise areas involving finance, cryptocurrency, taxation, securities and commodities buying and selling, or the follow of legislation. Nothing written or mentioned is meant to be construed, or relied upon, as funding, monetary, authorized, regulatory, accounting, tax or related recommendation, nor ought to it’s.”
One of many key claims Mengshoel makes is that Armstrong was paid to pitch cryptocurrency “scams” to “suckers,” and that the follow would finally draw the eye of the Securities and Trade Fee as a result of influencers “can’t resist the urge to take that fast buck and simply milk their viewers for some more money.”
Whereas Armstrong’s lawsuit says the allegation is “with none factual assist,” a CNBC story final week reported that Armstrong revamped $100,000 a month for selling cryptocurrencies, together with $30,000 alone for the failed DistX cryptocurrency. “That’s a follow he says he now regrets as a result of it led to some painful losses for his personal viewers,” CNBC wrote. Armstrong additionally promoted different fly-by-night tasks like Ethereum Yield, Cypherium, and MYX Community. When these tasks failed, he deleted the movies from his channel.
Armstrong’s emotional state is “fragile,” in response to his lawsuit, and he now “suffers from extreme nervousness that he will likely be perceived as a felon, a fraud, and untrustworthy in enterprise or normally.” The swimsuit goes on to say that Armstrong “now has recurring bouts of despair about whether or not Defendant’s defamatory statements will hurt Armstrong financially and socially and whether or not he’ll have the ability to recuperate his good status and enterprise in consequence.”
In the end, Armstrong’s lawsuit accuses Mengshoel’s video of being “successful job, an assault piece, not some investigative report,” the lawsuit reads. “It wholly lacks supporting info—investigative reporters don’t say ‘I hate sleezebags like this, as a result of they spoil it for everybody.'”
For his half, Mengshoel in his Twitter bio describes his YouTube channel as a spot to “discuss individuals doing dumb stuff on the web.”