YouTube’s headquarters in San Bruno, California, was shot up yesterday by a disgruntled content creator named Nasim Najafi Aghdam from San Diego, California. She had expressed on multiple occasions that she was angry with YouTube for demonetizing her content and the censorship that the company was embracing for certain kinds of content creators.
Daily Mail is reporting that Aghdam’s father warned police beforehand that his daughter, aged 39, was angry at YouTube, and that she was planning on heading to the company’s headquarters.
On April 3rd, 2018 Aghdam took a gun into the YouTube headquarters and began opening fire. She wounded three people before shooting and killing herself. Police and FBI enforcers quickly responded to escort the rest of the employees out of the building.
Aghdam had a fairly active online presence, with various social media accounts that she used to post up content, featuring workout videos, veganism, animal rights activism, and other eccentric content.
Journalist Nick Monroe has been posting up archived videos from Aghdam’s accounts, which have been disabled by Google and Facebook following the shooting.
Im starting a separate thread to archive YouTube Shooter Nasim Aghdam videos. For my original thread on this topic go here. https://t.co/LlDwkKs5H0
— Nick Monroe (@nickmon1112) April 4, 2018
According to the police report, Aghdam did not know the victims of the shooting, and other than her hatred for YouTube, no other motives have been pinned to the shooting.
NBC Bay Area reported that a video from January, 2017, from Aghdam ranted on YouTube for “discrimination” and “demonetization” – she complained that YouTube was killing off her livelihood following a series of restructures to content monetization that was a fallout from the “adpocalypse”, where various advertisers allegedly pulled out of supporting YouTube. You can view the video below.
Throughout 2017 the company began further restricting monetization on many videos, including creating demonetization blacklists. This was part of an aggressive crackdown on content, including instituting a Limited State Content policy, and censoring videos that had certain political leanings or content YouTube deemed “sensitive”.
Aghdam was once able to make a decent living from her videos and content, but after YouTube demonetized all her content she was only making cents to a dollar from some videos that generated upward of several hundred thousand views.
Debates about gun control and radical Islamists were stifled due to the nature of this particular shooting, which appears to be motivated by an anti-censorship stance rather than a religious or racial one.