Fake Blogs Taken Down As Conman Gaurav Srivastava's Cover-Up Fails

Srivastava manipulates backdated publishing feature on blogging platform Tumblr to send copyright notices to news outlets who published stories exposing his fraudulent actions

Fake Blogs Taken Down As Conman Gaurav Srivastava's Cover-Up Fails

Microblogging and social networking website Tumblr has confirmed that it has removed several accounts and posts from its platform after its site was allegedly abused by Indian businessman Gaurav Srivastava. 

The Indian businessman used Tumblr's backdating function to create posts that appeared to be from an earlier date. He then used these posts as the basis to issue copyright claims to manipulate Google results. 

Tumblr said that the blogs and their posts were removed "for violating community guidelines" after they were used in an attempt to remove factual stories about the businessman who abused the name of the American spy agency, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), to defraud a Dutch oil trader.

The complex, international fraud carried out by Srivastava is the subject of increasing media interest after other allegations about Srivastava's history of fraud came to light. 
According to an investigation, Tumblr accounts linked to Gaurav Srivastava lied to Google to get two articles de-indexed and removed from Google's search results by claiming that the original investigative stories were published on Tumblr and not on the journalistic platforms which originally reported them.

According to the legal complaint repository, the Lumen Database, complaints were made to Google citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The complaints claimed that the stories, which exposed Gaurav Srivastava's fraud and deceit, on how he cheated a Dutch oil trader, were a copyright violation of the stories published on Tumblr.

Gaurav Srivastava has a well-known history of using false copyright claims to shut down fact-based coverage of his malicious activities. After critical coverage is published, he copies the work to a new anonymous blog with no post history (often on sites like Tumblr or Medium), backdate the posts, and files a complaint to Google under DMCA.
Tumblr's parent company, Automattic, confirmed in a statement their assessment that the blogs were set up to raise fake DMCA claims – by people linked to Gaurav Srivastava – and have been "removed from Tumblr for violating our Community Guidelines".
The statement added: "Tumblr and Automattic take legitimate copyright protection very seriously. We take great care to protect our users from fraudulent or otherwise invalid takedown notices, and similarly, we have a zero-tolerance policy for blogs using our services to abuse the DMCA."
Gaurav Srivastava first targeted Project Brazen, a US-based investigative journalism outlet run by Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Bradley Hope and Tom Wright, in their original story about him, which contained original research and interviews

Tumblr also confirmed that it had deleted the post published on its site used to raise a malicious claim against the Project Brazen investigation into Gaurav Srivastava's fraud.

Tumblr said: "Our team has reviewed earlybirdtimes.tumblr.com. This blog has also been removed from Tumblr for violating our Community Guidelines. Both Tumblr and Automattic take copyright protection very seriously. We will continue to manually investigate any reports of Tumblr blogs being used to publish content that is mentioned in these fraudulent takedown notices."
Former Wall Street Journal reporters Bradley Hope, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and Tom Wright, a Pulitzer Prize nominee, revealed that Srivastava used a creative lie to complain to Google that the award-winning investigative journalism site had stolen the contents of the story on Srivastava from another blog. By using Google's copyright policy to his advantage, Srivastava used a fraudulent technique to get the story on himself de-indexed by setting up a fake Tumblr account and publishing the same content to claim it as his own – and then claimed copyright.
One of the reporters on the investigative story, Soobin Kim, posted on social media site 'X', formerly Twitter: "Our @WhaleHunting_ story was removed from Google's indexes due to copyright complaints. The complaints, saved on @lumendatabase, claim that we copied a backdated blog post, all content of which was lifted from our story. This is how fraudsters curate their online reputation." 
Project Brazen, from its official verified handle, revealed the full scale of shocking fraud run on Google by Gaurav Srivastava to remove his expose from the global search engine. In a thread,  revealed:
"Our @WhaleHunting_ team recently reported on an alleged serial con man named Gaurav Srivastava, who masquerades as a CIA operative to swindle gullible business owners. Less than a month after the story ran, it disappeared from Google's indexes. Instead, there was a note saying that search results had been removed due to complaints. On @lumendatabase, which collects online content removal notices, we found two complaints submitted to Google by someone named Sherrie Hagen, claiming that our story had infringed the copyright of a blog post on Tumblr. The post purporting to be the original had republished the text from the public preview of our story on @WhaleHunting_, word for word. It was backdated to October 8th, two days before our date of publication, but the blog's archive reveals that it was actually posted sometime in November.
"This US-based Sherrie Hagen, in fact, filed four copyright complaints to Google in November 2023, with one even claiming she was based in the UK. The Tumblr blog post that was apparently the original source of this information has now been altered to a completely different story – a move that leaves little trace of reports on Srivastava's fraudulent activity. Our @WhaleHunting_ team reviewed multiple court documents, transcripts, correspondences and more to report and write this story, which the blog claims as its own in the complaints submitted to @Google to get it de-indexed. It even lifted the image made by @ProjectBrazen's creative director – a photo of Gaurav Srivastava with swords in the background, inspired by the ceremonial swords he pretends to have received from various heads of state, when he actually bought them for himself. When you google "Gaurav Srivastava", you can only find fawning articles that he likely paid for, calling him a "philanthropist" and a "loving parent." This is a glaring example of how copyright laws are abused to launder the reputations of fraudsters, and bury damning information."
Another investigation published by a Pakistani paper was targeted on December 24th 2023. The Tumblr platform was used to publish the same story in the first week of January 2024. Then it was backdated before Srivastava raised a claim to Google using US DMCA legislation to get the story taken down. According to Tumblr archives, the false report was made after uploading it in the first week of January 2024. The same post was removed from Tumblr two days after the Daily Pakistan story was taken down – a clear case of how the Tumblr platform was manipulated. 

According to US laws, to make a DMCA notice, the individual makes a legal commitment to tell the truth. This means that lying to secure a DMCA is effectively perjury and is punishable by imprisonment and a fine.