Shootout at YouTube: the suspect accused the platform of censoring

Convinced that the platform was against her personally, the woman, Nasim Najafi Aghdam, was angry at YouTube. She accused him of censoring his videos and preventing him from posting ads.

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She “hated” YouTube. A few hours after the shootout at the California headquarters of the video platform,  injuring three people, one of whom is still in a “critical” state , information emerges about the identity of the printer. Her name would be Nasim Najafi Aghdam. Originally from San Diego, the 39-year-old woman regularly posted videos on YouTube. She committed suicide after the shooting.

Rancor against YouTube

The authorities’ investigation is still ongoing. Nevertheless, some videos published by Nasim Najafi Aghdam already showed a resentment towards YouTube. She criticized the platform, owned by Google, to censor his videos and prevent him from monetizing his videos, by displaying advertisements. The woman managed several YouTube channels, as well as accounts on Instagram, Telegram and a personal website. She wrote in English, Farsi and Turkish. She offered vegetarian recipes, denounced animal abuse, published sometimes violent videos, or made sports videos.

Nasim Najafi Aghdam seemed to be convinced that YouTube was angry with her personally. On her personal website, still online, she wrote that “there is no growth opportunity on YouTube, your channel will only grow if they want it!”. In a video, where she is seen doing sports exercises, she accused the platform of having restricted the content to an adult audience. “There is nothing sexual (…) this video was becoming famous and to collect many views, so YouTube decided to restrict the audience.” Nasim Najafi Aghdam compared for example singer Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus, accusing YouTube of leaving their videos online. She also feared being threatened with death by people who opposed her vegetarian diet.

“There is no free speech in the real world and you will be censored for telling a truth that is not supported by the system,” she also wrote on her personal website. The father of the printer,  in an interview with the US media Mercury News , explained that he had reported the disappearance of his daughter. He warned the authorities that she might go to the YouTube headquarters because she “hated” the company. The police in San Bruno, where the building is located, said in the night that “for the moment, there is no evidence that the printer knew the victims or that individuals were particularly targeted.”

“We will overcome this test”

On his personal website, Nasim Najafi Aghdam shared many videographer videos complaining about YouTube’s new monetization rules. Last year, the platform  changed the way its creators can be remunerated , thanks to advertising. These changes were denounced by many videographers, who judged these new rules opaque and unfair, especially for channels to the more modest audience.

YouTube, owned by Google, has had to handle many controversies in recent months, including the proliferation of extreme content or misinformation on its platform. The company promised to strengthen its moderation. “There are no words to describe the horror of a shootout on YouTube,”  commented Susan Wojcicki, YouTube CEO , “We will go beyond this ordeal like a family.”


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