LBRY Allege That Apple Made it Censor Contents During COVID 

LBRY Allege That Apple Made it Censor Contents

Following statements by Elon Musk that Apple had threatened to remove Twitter from the App Store for its content moderation policies, blockchain-based file-sharing company LBRY has also come out alleging that the tech giant made similar threats during the COVID crisis. 

LBRY has come out against Apple, alleging that it was threatened by the tech giant to filter out certain terms from iOS applications during the COVID-19 crisis. The blockchain-based file sharing and payments service provider was replying to a tweet by Twitter CEO Elon Musk, who claimed that Apple had made similar threats to remove Twitter from the App Store for its moderation policies. The company had also stopped advertising on social media platforms. 

LBRY is a decentralized content-sharing platform that allows artists, filmmakers, and content creators to publish their works while having ownership and financial control over it. The company has a blockchain-based alternative to YouTube called Odysee, which is one of its most popular applications. 

In a follow-up tweet, LBRY detailed what type of content it was asked to remove by the Silicon Valley giant. The company says that when some users included images of ‘Pepe the Frog’ in their videos on Odysee, Apple outright rejected them. Pepe the Frog is an internet meme featuring a green frog that is most commonly used in political-based ideologies. In 2019, it was adopted by anti-government protest groups in Hong Kong. 

LBRY Allege That Apple Made it Censor Contents

“Apple disallowed almost anything related to COVID, especially vaccines or human origins of the virus. We had to build a list of over 20 terms to not show results for, only on Apple devices… Apple may make good products, but they have been opposed to free speech for some time,” explained LBRY in its tweets. 

As discussions regarding the topic continue on Twitter, Elon Musk, who recently purchased the company for $44 billion, teased that he will be releasing documents related to Twitter’s efforts to suppress free speech under the previous administration headed by CEO Parag Agarwal, Head of Legal, Policy and Trust Vijaya Gadde, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal and General Counsel Sean Edgett. Musk fired the top executives on his first day at the social media company. 

He also unbanned the account of former President Donald Trump after conducting a public poll that gained 15 million votes. Mr. Trump was an active Twitter user and regularly shared his thoughts with followers until he was banned from the platform last year while still in office in relation to the January 6th protests by supporters who contested the 2020 election results. 

LBRY has long been in a fight of its own with the financial watchdog, the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Earlier this month, a judge from the New Hampshire court ruled against LBRY in its case with the federal agency. In March 2021, the SEC sued LBRY, alleging that the company had violated securities law by selling its LBC tokens without registering them as securities with the financial regulator. LBRY hit back against the allegations by claiming that the tokens are not securities and that it was not notified about the sale of LBC being subject to securities laws, thus violating LBRY’s right to due process. 

However, Federal Judge Paul Barbadoro of the District Court for the District of New Hampshire ruled that there was no reason to reject the SEC’s claim that LBC is in fact security and that LBRY does not have a “triable defense” for claims that it did not receive fair notice. LBRY founder Jeremy Kauffman said that the outcome of this case will have implications for the wider cryptocurrency market and that it would affect every company in the industry.

“The SEC vs LBRY case establishes a precedent that threatens the entire US cryptocurrency industry. Under the SEC vs LBRY standard, almost every cryptocurrency, including Ethereum and Doge, are securities. The future of cryptocurrency in the US now rests with an organization even worse than the SEC : the United States Congress,” said Kauffman. 

LBRY Allege That Apple Made it Censor Contents During COVID 

Another case that will be affected by this ruling is the SEC vs Ripple Labs, where the agency alleges that Ripple issued and sold $1.3 billion worth of native token XRP in unregistered securities. Similar to LBRY, Ripple Labs claims that XRP is not a security and that the SEC failed to provide clarity on whether the tokens are subject to securities laws. In October, Washington-based crypto advocacy group the Blockchain Association filed an amicus curiae in support of Ripple Labs arguing that by applying its securities laws “inconsistently”, the SEC was jeopardizing the future of the crypto industry.  

In the case against LBRY, the SEC had asked the court for a permanent injunction to prevent the company from selling any more LBCs until all dues and penalties have been paid. As the future of the LBRY project now hangs by a thread, how the outcome of this case affects the industry will need to be seen. 

At the time of writing, LBC is trading at $0.01, down 12% in the last 24-hours. 

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