November 22, 2020

WhiteHat Jr’s founder files $2.6M defamation suit against critic

Karan Bajaj, an Indian entrepreneur who teaches meditation and in his recent book invites others to live a life away from the noise, is going after the most vocal critic of his startup.

Bajaj, founder of coding platform aimed at kids WhiteHat Jr, has filed a defamation case against Pradeep Poonia, an engineer who has publicly criticized the firm for its marketing tactics, the quality of the courses on the platform, and aggressive takedowns of such feedback.

In the lawsuit — in which Bajaj is seeking $2.6 million in damages — Poonia has been accused of infringing trademarks and copyright of properties owned by WhiteHat Jr, defaming and spreading misleading information about the startup and its founder, and accessing the company’s private communications app.

The lawsuit also accuses Poonia of publicly sharing phone numbers of WhiteHat Jr employees and making strong accusations such as likening the startup’s marketing tactics to “child sexual abuse.”

But the lawsuit, riddled with spelling and grammatical mistakes, is also indicative of just how little criticism WhiteHatJr, a startup owned by India’s second most valuable startup Byju’s, is willing to accept.

According to internal posts of a Slack channel of WhiteHat Jr shared by Poonia, the startup has aggressively used copyright protection to take down numerous unflattering feedback about the startup in recent months.

More to follow…

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