YouTube shooter 'complained her videos were restricted'
A woman who complained online that YouTube deliberately restricted her videos is reported to have been behind a shooting at the tech giant’s California headquarters.
Three people were wounded in the handgun attack at an outdoor dining area on the San Bruno campus where nearly 2,000 people are employed by YouTube.
The perpetrator was identified by local media as 39-year-old Nasim Aghdam from San Diego, although that is yet to be confirmed by the police. Police said the shooter shot herself dead following the attack.
One victim, a 36-year-old man, is in critical condition while a 32-year-old woman was described as being in a serious condition and a 27-year-old woman in a fair condition. All three victims were shot, according to police, who added that they are all awake at San Francisco General Hospital and have not undergone surgery.
Aghdam’s website promotes several YouTube channels in English, Turkish and Farsi, which all now seem to have been removed. It focuses on Persian culture and veganism while also railing against YouTube.
On its homepage, she seemed to criticise YouTube for filtering her channels to reduce her viewing figures and also for only paying her 10 cents ad revenue for 366,000 views.
“There is no free speech in real world & you will be suppressed for telling the truth that is not supported by the system,” she wrote.
“Videos of targeted users are filtered & merely relegated, so that people can hardly see their videos!
“There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site, your channel will grow if they want to!!!!!”
Referring to one video – since removed – she wrote: “This video got age restricted after new close-minded youtube employees, got control of my farsi youtube channel last year 2016 & began filtering my videos to reduce views & suppress & discaurage me from making videos!”
Last year Google overhauled its age restriction rules which resulted in a swathe of videos being made ineligible for adverts, meaning they could not generate revenue.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki tweeted that “our hearts go out to all those injured & impacted today. We will come together to heal as a family”.
There are no words to describe how horrible it was to have an active shooter @YouTube today. Our deepest gratitude to law enforcement & first responders for their rapid response. Our hearts go out to all those injured & impacted today. We will come together to heal as a family.— Susan Wojcicki (@SusanWojcicki) April 4, 2018
YouTube product manager Todd Sherman, who was in a meeting at the time, tweeted that he at first thought it was an earthquake as the “floor started rumbling” and they heard people running.
After existing the room we still didn’t know what was going on but more people were running. Seemed serious and not like a drill.— Todd Sherman (@tdd) April 3, 2018
We headed towards the exit and then saw more people and someone said that there was a person with a gun. Shit.— Todd Sherman (@tdd) April 3, 2018
At that point every new person I saw was a potential shooter. Someone else said that the person shot out the back doors and then shot themselves.— Todd Sherman (@tdd) April 3, 2018
I looked down and saw blood drips on the floor and stairs. Peaked around for threats and then we headed downstairs and out the front.— Todd Sherman (@tdd) April 3, 2018
Police cruisers pull up, hopped out with rifles ready and I told them where the situation was as I headed down the street to meet up with a couple team members.— Todd Sherman (@tdd) April 3, 2018
Sundar Pichai, CEO of YouTube’s parent company Google, said: “I know a lot of you are in shock right now. Over the coming days, we will continue to provide support to help everyone in our Google family heal from this unimaginable tragedy.”
Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey tweeted his support for “our friends at YouTube” and joined Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in commenting on gun control.
We can’t keep being reactive to this, thinking and praying it won’t happen again at our schools, jobs, or our community spots. It’s beyond time to evolve our policies. This is a simple and reasonable approach, and it won’t solve all, but it’s a good start: https://t.co/ADYalbaO57 https://t.co/nbXpH9DDyT— jack (@jack) April 3, 2018