Popular YouTubers Jake Paul and Bryan ‘RiceGum’ Le are in hot water after promoting an alleged gambling and scam website to their viewers. Now, YouTube is finally speaking out on the debacle – but their response may not be exactly what fans are looking for.
A spokesperson for the video platform addressed the situation in an interview with The Verge on January 3, where they claimed that creators are ultimately responsible for being transparent with their audience and complying with the law.
“YouTube believes that creators should be transparent with their audiences if their content includes paid promotion of any kind,” the spokesperson stated. “Our policies make it clear that YouTube creators are responsible for ensuring their content complies with local laws, regulations and YouTube Community Guidelines.”
However, the site does not label services like Mystery Boxes or even ‘lootboxes’ in video games as gambling – although its policy on YouTubers promoting scams or “deceptive practices” may come back to haunt the two, should the platform change their stance on the matter.
Both Paul and RiceGum have since spoken out on the backlash, with RiceGum citing a plethora of other YouTubers partnered with ‘MysteryBrand.net’ in defense of his initial video.
Although he expressed remorse for his involvement with the site, other YouTubers across the space are still unsatisfied with his apology – including the likes of H3H3’s Ethan Klein, who reminded RiceGum that he has an obligation to be responsible in regards to his “impressionable audience.”
While Paul Tweeted out a short warning for his younger fans to stay away from gambling, he has yet to speak further on the matter.