Police say YouTube policies motivated shooter (wired.com).
The shooter, a woman in her late 30s named Nasim Najafi Aghdam, describing herself as a “vegan bodybuilder and animal rights activist” had multiple YouTube channels promoting a “healthy and humane lifestyle” but with as much attention on herself, as is invariably the case with GoogleTube stars, and getting thousands of subscribers and millions of views.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Ed Barberini, San Bruno’s police chief, said police suspect Aghdam’s primary motive was her frustration with “the policies and practices of YouTube.”
Seemingly frustration at “policies and practices” in the form of loss of monetisation privileges which GoogleTube had instigated after backlash against their algorithm which seemingly was most rewarding cruel pranks and abuse (Blog, 9th Feb. 2018), complaining on her personal website that “there is no equal growth opportunity on YouTube or any other video sharing site” and that her channels were being “filtered” to keep from receiving views:
In one screenshot [on her personal website site] is a notification from YouTube, indicating that one of Aghdam’s channels, which had 1,579 subscribers, was no longer eligible for monetization. The screenshot is not dated, but in January, YouTube changed its monetization eligibility requirements for smaller creators. … In another screenshot, Aghdam complained that she only received 10 cents from YouTube for over 300,000 video views to one of her channels in a month-long period.
But as well as her chosen causes and desire to be reimbursed for them it does seem a need for fame was certainly as much a part and indicative of what YouTube has become:
Updated 5th April 2018
YouTube shooting suspect built online persona as she scorned real world (theguardian.com).
On social media she was more than an Iranian immigrant who lived with her grandmother in southern California—she was an athlete, a fitness guru, a model, a poet, a vegan advocate, an animal rights warrior and a film-maker. She was glamorous and fought inequity. She was a star.
When YouTube changed its rules and the video views and monetisation of the GoogleTube “small creator” slumped she interpreted it as censorship and betrayal.
In one video, Nasim Najafi Aghdam refers to herself as a “ninja” before making a series of odd, stunted motions spliced between clips from the reality series “America’s Got Talent.” In another video, she sports a blond pixie-cut wig while mocking people who choose to eat meat.
And in another the rail-thin, raven-haired Aghdam says in Farsi that she has “no specific physical or mental illness” but that she lives “in a planet that is filed with illness, and disorder and perversion and injustice.” Videos that remain online on DailyMotion present a “strange pastiche of parody clips, workout videos and vegan recipe suggestions, many of which are flagged by a warning not to steal her content”.
Of the three victims, two have been released from hospital while the third remains hospitalised in a serious condition.
- Cryptocurrency miner malware in YouTube ads (Blog 30th January 2018)
- Petition calling for YouTube to delete Logan Paul channel after posting footage of dead body (Blog 3rd January 2018)