Tuesday afternoon, tragedy hit the San Diego Youtube headquarters. A flurry of reports came about an active shooter who penetrated the headquarters and opened fire on three people, only to leave one of them in critical condition.
As media scrambled to find out who was the perpetrator and its motivation for opening fire on Youtube employees, the San Bruno Police moved quickly and revealed the suspect’s identity.
39-year-old Nasim Najafi Aghdam, a San Diego resident, was the attacker. She died swiftly from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, leaving behind a devastated family and… a social media history that sheds light upon her motives.
According to her own social media accounts and websites, as well as her family’s statements, Nasim Najafi Aghdam was unhappy about the fact that Youtube de-monetized her videos.
She thought Youtube and other social media platforms like Instagram were unjustly leaving her without an income.
— San Bruno Police (@SanBrunoPolice) April 4, 2018
YouTube has been indeed implementing some big changes as to how videos reach an audience and how much money creators can obtain from ads. Nasim Najafi Aghdam’s attack was a tragic, impossible-to-foresee consequence of those changes.
“I’m being discriminated and filtered on YouTube, and I’m not the only one. My old videos that used to get many views, stopped getting views. This is because I’m getting filtered,” she said in one of her videos, which was apparently enough to motivate her to open fire at Youtube’s headquarters.
Nasim posted frequently about being a vegan and exercising, and also shared content related to animal cruelty, possibly in an attempt at online activism.
Her Youtube channel, Instagram, and Facebook accounts were deactivated immediately after the police revealed her identity, but not before different media outlets released screenshots of them.
Meanwhile, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai reached out to comfort his employees, and executives from companies like Twitter, Uber, and Apple expressed their support.
Unfortunately, there’s no word yet about the Youtube employee left in a critical condition.
According to police officials, there is no evidence that Nasim Najafi Aghdam knew her victims.
There are no words to describe the tragedy that occurred today. @SusanWojcicki & I are focused on supporting our employees & the @YouTube community through this difficult time together. Thank you to the police & first responders for their efforts, and to all for msgs of support.
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) April 3, 2018