YouTube shooter ‘upset’ about video policies, police say

VIDEO: REUTERS
Police in San Bruno, California, identified the suspect as Nasim Aghdam (above), according to news organisations including The Los Angeles Times, which cited an unidentified law enforcement source.
Police in San Bruno, California, identified the suspect as Nasim Aghdam (above), according to news organisations including The Los Angeles Times, which cited an unidentified law enforcement source.PHOTO: TWITTER/SANBRUNOPOLICE
Policemen walking outside the YouTube headquarters on April 3, 2018, in San Bruno, California, following a shooting incident.
Policemen walking outside the YouTube headquarters on April 3, 2018, in San Bruno, California, following a shooting incident.PHOTO: AFP

SAN FRANCISCO (BLOOMBERG) - The woman who went on a shooting rampage at Google’s YouTube headquarters on Tuesday (April 3) was identified by police as a video creator who was upset with the company for policies she claimed limited her audience.

The suspect, Nasim Aghdam, 39, of San Diego, killed herself after wounding three people at the San Bruno, California, campus, police said. Authorities have found no connection between Aghdam and the victims, San Bruno police chief Ed Barberini said at a briefing Wednesday.

“It is believed the suspect was upset with policies and practices of YouTube,” Barberini said. “This appears to be the motive for this incident.”

Police say Aghdam used a 9mm semi-automatic handgun and had practiced firing the weapon at an area shooting range earlieron Tuesday. She had been reported missing since March 31 by her family.

Police in nearby Mountain View, California, found her sleeping in her car sometime earlier on Tuesday and removed her from a missing person’s list, Barberini said.

Aghdam was linked to a website and YouTube channels that criticised the video unit of Alphabet.’s Google.

“YouTube filtered my channels to keep them from getting views!” the website reads. “There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site.” 

 
 
 

The site also complains about the small amount of money Aghdam said she got from a video that was viewed a few hundred thousand times.

It also lists several YouTube videos, some devoted to vegan activism with graphic images of animal cruelty, along with channels in English, Farsi and Turkish. 

The domain name for the website was created in 2015, according to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

Over the past year, YouTube has restricted the number of ads running on millions of user-generated videos. The policies were made in response to complaints from major advertisers over inappropriate content on the service. 

YouTube’s moves were criticised by some video creators who relied on the site for ad revenue.

Three people were wounded in the attack. One of the victims, a man in his 30s, remained in serious condition on Wednesday at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, the hospital said in a statement. 

Two others who were wounded, both women, were treated and released from the hospital on Tuesday night.

Barberini said Aghdam legally owned the handgun, although authorities didn’t say when or where she purchased the weapon. 

Police are reviewing security footage of the lunchtime attack and have obtained search warrants for Aghdam’s home and the homes of several people close to her to learn more about her movements and motive.