Following the disturbing and unfortunate event that occurred on Tuesday at YouTube’s headquarters in San Bruno, California. An incident that caused the life of one person and three others injured. The company has announced plans to harden security and also explained that the move reflects a growing concern in Silicon Valley that the effects of increasingly toxic and partisan online behaviour may translate into violent offline actions.
The shooter was identified as 39-year-old Nasim Aghdam of San Diego, who died yesterday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, after shooting and injuring three employees. From police reports, testimony from Aghdam’s family members, and extensive traces of the woman’s online behaviour on YouTube and other platforms, we now know that Aghdam was disgruntled over the demonetizing of her videos and harm to her financial well-being.
Aghdam had at one point been an avid YouTuber, posting dozens of clips ranging from vegan recipes to workout videos on the site. However, she had more recently posted more content in Farsi and Turkish, and complained on her website that views for her videos had gone down, leading her to accuse YouTube of censorship.
She also took heart the issue of the recent changes to YouTube’s partner program, which require users to have at least 1,000 subscribers as well as 4,000 video viewing hours per year to qualify for ad-revenue sharing.
In the aftermath of the event, The video giant said the violent attack prompted it to reassess the security on its offices. The statement was released through Google’s Twitter account for communications; it’s not clear whether Google itself will be implementing stronger security measures beyond YouTube. The statement which reads:
Following the events, YouTube is encouraging its employees “to take time off of work, or work from home,” adding they “will be increasing the security we have at all of our offices worldwide to make them more secure not only in the near term, but long-term.” and since the incident LAPD has been stationed at the Playa Vista YouTube office.
The YouTube statement focuses more on the victims, the YouTube community, and what the company plans to do in the coming days to offer support and improve employee protections.