NEWS ALERTS: YouTube new policies may motivated shooter

Nasim Aghdam, 39, of Sandiego, CA shot three people at YouTube headquarter in CA.

SUAB HMONG NEWS (04/04/2018) – April 3, 2018 a woman opened fire at YouTube headquarter in San Bruno, CA wounding three people before turning the gun on herself.

The woman identified as Nasim Aghdam, 39, of Sandiego, CA.  The father of Aghdam told CBS News his daughter was very upset with YouTube and he warned police about her.

Investigators said late Tuesday there’s no evidence Nasim Aghdam, 39, of San Diego, knew her victims or specifically targeted any of them when she pulled out a handgun and fired off several rounds in a courtyard at the company’s headquarters south of San Francisco. Members of her family told CBS L.A. they didn’t think she knew anyone at YouTube.

Nasim Aghdam used the name “Nasime Sabz” online. A website in that name decried YouTube’s policies and said the company was trying to “suppress” content creators.

On her personal website, Aghdam complained that “there is no equal growth opportunity on YouTube or any other video sharing site, your channel will grow if they want it to.” She also said that YouTube “filtered” her channels to keep them from receiving views.

In one screenshot 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. The video streaming site began requiring that channels have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 “watch hours” over the last 12 months before they can begin running advertisements. Previously, the marker had been 10,000 lifetime views. The change effectively meant that smaller creators would need to reach a higher popularity threshold before they could begin running ads. The policy change came after YouTube had suffered several major scandals in which advertisements were found to have been active on videos containing controversial content.

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. It’s not clear whether every YouTube video that comprised those views was monetized, however. On another portion of her website, Aghdam fixated on the fact that YouTube had age-restricted one of her videos, meaning it could not be viewed unless users signed in and verified their age with the platform.

“This video got age restricted after new close-minded YouTube employees, got control of my Farsi YouTube channel last year 2016 & began filtering my videos to reduce views & suppress & discourage [sic] me from making videos!” she wrote. YouTube’s policies indicate that the company considers age-restricting videos when they contain any of four things: vulgar language, violence or disturbing imagery, nudity and sexually suggestive content, or portray harmful or dangerous activities. Videos that are age-restricted are not eligible for YouTube’s payment system.

Aghdam’s personal website also features videos that she hasn’t personally created. One is from another vegan blogger who also expresses grievances over perceived censorship on YouTube. In another video, from 2016, a prominent creator complains about YouTube’s monetization policies. There are also several other videos about veganism and other topics not related to YouTube.

In February of last year, Aghdam posted a now unavailable photo to Facebook of a person holding a sign calling YouTube a “dictatorship.” The sign also included the URL of her personal website.

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