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Neighbors Growing Together | Jun 20, 2018

Woman opened fire Tuesday at YouTube’s California headquarters

Father warned cops daughter felt ‘demonetization,’ angry about content censoring
By By Todd Spangler, Variety.com | Apr 04, 2018

LOS ANGELES - New details have emerged about the woman identified as opening fire at YouTube’s headquarters Tuesday in San Bruno, Calif., injuring four employees.

The shooting suspect was identified by local police as Nasim Aghdam, a 39-year-old San Diego resident who died at the scene Tuesday afternoon of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Four YouTube employees were injured, one critically, by the alleged shooter.

Aghdam had expressed grievances toward YouTube in videos and online posts, complaining that the Google-owned video platform was discriminating against her, censoring her content and had “demonetized” her videos.

Her father, Ismail Aghdam, said in an interview with CBS2 News in Los Angeles that he had contacted San Diego police on Monday to warn them about her grievances toward YouTube. According to the report, he said law-enforcement authorities -- responding to a missing person report -- contacted him Tuesday at 2 a.m., telling him they had found his daughter in her car in Mountain View, about 30 miles south of San Bruno. According to Ismail Aghdam, police said they would keep an eye on her.

“She was angry,” he told the Mercury News. Ismail Aghdam had told police that he feared his daughter was going to YouTube’s headquarters because she “hated” the company.

Aghdam posted videos on YouTube in Persian, Turkish and English using various screen names, including “Nasime Sabz.” Her channel and other social-media accounts have been deleted since the shooting.

“There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site, your channel will grow if they want to!!!!!,” she wrote in a post on her website, nasimesabz.com.

In another post, she shared an image of her YouTube page showing that a video that had received 366,591 views generated just 10 cents of ad revenue. “My revenue for 300,000 is $0.10?????” she wrote.

One of the evident sources of Aghdam’s rage was a new policy YouTube announced in January, setting stricter requirements for content creators to be eligible for ad-revenue sharing. The site implemented those in response to marketers’ concerns over the “brand safety” of ad-supported videos on the site.

Under the new rules, YouTube Partner Program participants need to have at least 4,000 hours of video watch-time for their videos within the past 12 months and at least 1,000 subscribers. Creators previously part of the rev-share program who didn’t meet those requirements were dropped -- “demonetized” in the jargon of the platform -- effective Feb. 20. Previously, the minimum threshold to participate in the revenue-sharing program was 10,000 video views. But according to YouTube, the previous standard didn’t provide enough information to filter out “bad actors” like spammers and impersonators.

In another post on her website about YouTube, Nasim Aghdam wrote: “They only care for personal short-term profits & do anything to reach their goals by fooling simple-minded people, hiding the truth, manipulating science & everything, putting public mental & physical health at risk, abusing non-human animals, polluting environment, destroying family values, promoting materialism and sexual degeneration in the name of freedom.”

San Bruno police said that on Tuesday, April 3, at 12:46 p.m., it received numerous 911 calls reporting gunshots at the YouTube campus at 901 Cherry Ave. in San Bruno. As of Tuesday evening, the scene was being processed for evidence by San Bruno police detectives and the San Mateo County Crime Lab.

After police responded, they found Aghdam dead at the scene. The four individuals who were injured were transported to area hospitals. One of the victims, a 36-year-old man, was in critical condition on Tuesday, while a 32-year-old woman was listed in serious condition, and a 27-year-old woman was in fair condition.

On Tuesday, the San Bruno police said they were investigating a motive for the shooting and said, “At this time there is no evidence that the shooter knew the victims of this shooting or that individuals were specifically targeted.”

In a tweet Tuesday, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said: “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.”

The San Bruno Police Department has scheduled a press conference for Wednesday at 9 a.m. PT to provide an update on the case. On Tuesday evening, the department released a photo of Aghdam:

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