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NBC: YouTube shooting suspect Nasim Aghdam visited a gun range hours before she showed up at the company’s California campus — packing a legally registered pistol and a grudge — and opened fire, wounding three people before she killed herself, police said Wednesday.
“We know that she was upset with YouTube,” San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini said at a news conference. Barberini said his department is investigating reports that Aghdam’s family, who reported her missing, told neighboring Mountain View Police that she hated YouTube and might be found there. Mountain View officers had found her sleeping in her car early Tuesday, before the shooting, and decided she did not pose a threat, officials said.
San Bruno police said they did not get any report from Mountain View that Aghdam might head there before she accessed the campus around lunchtime and started shooting in the courtyard with a Smith & Wesson 9 mm semiautomatic handgun that she had purchased legally, Barberini said. He said Aghdam fired “quite a few” shots but there is no indication she was targeting specific people. When police arrived, they found one wounded victim on site, two others who had fled to a neighboring building and Aghdam dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot, Barberini said.
The 38-year-old San Diego resident was an extremist vegan who claimed on her social media accounts that YouTube was discriminating against her videos, many of which focused on animal rights and veganism — mixed in with bizarre musical parodies.
“Youtube (sic) filtered my channels to keep them from getting views!” Aghdam wrote on her website.
“There is no free speech in real world & you will be suppressed for telling the truth that is not supported by the system. Videos of targeted users are filtered & merely relegated, so that people can hardly see their videos!”
Aghdam’s family told NBC News that she was a longtime YouTube user who felt she had been cheated out of revenue from video views. YouTube “stopped everything and now she has no income,” her father, Ismail Aghdam, said in a brief phone interview. It appears Aghdam was a longtime animal rights activist. Nearly a decade ago, she took part in a demonstration organized by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California to protest the killing of pigs during a military exercise.
News accounts from the time said she carried a plastic sword and wore pants spattered with fake blood. “For me, animal rights equals humans rights,” she was quoted as saying. By last year, Aghdam had turned to protesting YouTube. Her Facebook page shows a photo of her standing on a street corner in February 2017 with the heading “YouTube Dictatorship” and the message: “Hidden policy: Promote stupidity, discrimination, suppression of truth.”
This story is wild man. As with any incident involving guns and an Iranian vegan talking heads have picked their side and are turning this into a debate about gun control, immigration, Islam (even though she’s not Muslim), and another failure of a police department that had ben tipped off about a nutjob.
But all of that is just a distraction from the real issue – Silicon Valley pinheads arbitrarily deciding what we will consume for information. Because this woman’s beef was legitimate. Youtube and Google are no different than Facebook. They’re billion dollar corporations that employ hardly anyone considering the number of daily users on their sites. They do this because they’re stupid and cheap. They naively believe that they possess the capability to fairly and in a non-arbitrary way, monitor the activity of hundreds of millions of people, with just a few thousands employees. They have the money to hire millions of people, but they don’t because that would mean one less yacht for Silicon Valley CEO’s.
They also view their role in the world not as a medium where people can share and view content that they wish to see, but as a moral beacon whose job it is to make sure that people see stuff that goes along with their agenda only.
Check out her insane website:
Youtube was using algorithms to keep her content from being seen. This is apparently what this woman did for a living. She utilized technology, became dependent on it, Youtube made money off of the visitors she brought to Youtube, and then they took it away from her.
They also demonetized her page, a common practice that Facebook uses to keep paying advertisers appearing on your videos:
This woman clearly has a few screws loose, as you can see:
Because she’s a vegan. And everyone knows that vegans are naturally insane. First of all, they choose not to eat delicious meat. That alone should require seeing a doctor. But they also love to shove their agenda down your throat like organic kale they just bought at the Ventura farmer’s market.
But shouldn’t she have a right to be insane on Youtube’s platform? Why are these tech companies trying to hide content like this from us? This directly affected her livelihood. There’s no phone number she can call, and someone like her probably felt helpless. You combine that with insanity and a gun, and bad things happen.
Forbes called Youtube out on this big brother monetization bullshit in January:
Ultimately, YouTube needs to do better in so many ways it’s hard to list them all. The company needs to:
Improve its system of demonetizing videos that don’t adhere to community guidelines. The current automated system paints with a broad (if irregular) brush. More human beings need to be involved in this process.
Even many top YouTubers complain that YouTube is terrible in its communication with content creators. YouTube needs to find ways to better communicate with all content creators, large and small.
YouTube’s crackdown on inappropriate material is inadvertently depriving some creators of as much as 80 percent of their monthly sales, a blow to the very people who helped make the site the most popular place to watch video online. The swift drop in revenue, a side effect of YouTube’s attempt to remove ads from offensive videos, has caused some users who once thrived on the site to quit posting or defect for rival sites like Amazon.com Inc.’s Twitch, according to interviews with a dozen different creators and partners. YouTube says it’s working to address users’ concerns, acknowledging in a statement that “it’s been a tough year for creators.”
The video service has built one of the largest media businesses in the world, with billions of dollars in annual revenue, by relying on relative unknowns to provide it with clips for free. The incentive for users is to build an audience and share in advertising proceeds as their viewership grows. But some creators are reconsidering as they benefit less from the symbiotic relationship.
“I’ve had to change my whole life around,” said Joe Taylor, who operates a motorcycle-focused channel called JoeGo101. Taylor’s earnings have fallen from $6,000 a month to about $1,000 a month, not enough for the 37-year-old to pay the bills. “There are so many people who can’t post as much because they had to go get jobs. They have fired thousands of people in one fell swoop.”
Other creators say their earnings haven’t been affected, but they’re still frustrated by YouTube’s lack of transparency and communications. The company has yet to share a set of standards of what’s acceptable for advertisers.
“The thing that sucks is YouTube doesn’t tell you why it was de-monetized,” said Sam Sheffer, a 27-year-old whose career as a YouTuber began just a few months ago. “They link you to some arbitrary set of rules, and you have no idea why you were de-monetized other than the fact that you are.”
YouTube employs managers to communicate with its creators and partners, but that’s a tall order since there are so many.
Oh look, it’s the same exact beef we had with Facebook. We have given completely unregulated power to a select few in Silicon Valley. They alone will decide what videos are offensive. Then they will “de-monetize” your videos (without telling you why, and without giving you an appeals process) completely destroying your business model overnight.
These companies should treat their products like the phone companies and UPS – it’s not their job to police what people are sharing, it’s their job to provide the space where people can share information.
But instead they think it’s their job to save the world from seeing things that bother them. The problem with this is they use algorithms instead of actual human beings to make these decisions. And since there’s a lot of money on the line for content providers, they should be obligated to have active customer service representative who can address these issues.
But these billionaire assholes would rather cut corners, buy another yacht, and pat themselves on the back for keeping “offensive” content and “hate speech” off of their platforms. And what happened at Youtube yesterday was the end result of that. It was really only a matter of time. When you fuck with people’s livelihoods don’t be surprised when they come after your life.
Look, I’m not defending this woman, because obviously she’s in the wrong. But at the very least this has brought a major issue to the forefront that needed to be highlighted and addressed. Youtube drove her to the brink of insanity by destroying her livelihood. It happened because algorithms, not human beings, said it had to be so. Unfortunately this will almost definitely turn into yet another debate about guns and immigration (because of course she had to be freaking IRANIAN) and the real issue will be ignored.