An Iranian woman named Nasim Aghdam shot three employees at YouTube’s San Bruno, California, offices and then committed suicide on their campus. She was initially described as a “white woman in a headscarf.”
Aghdam, 39, who lived in the area, had a long history of animal rights activism and was quoted by the Los Angeles Times at a protest of the U.S. Marine Corps’ use of pigs to demonstrate battlefield wounds in 2009. She had a number of similar websites touting vegan views. She was a leftist radical evidently.
JUST IN: Two law enforcement sources say authorities have preliminarily identified the YouTube shooter as Nasim Aghdam, a woman with previous addresses in the Southern California cities of Riverside and San Diego. https://t.co/vmWDgKsXJc
— ABC News (@ABC) April 4, 2018
Originally, the shooting was said to have been domestic abuse. Media outlets reported that she shot her boyfriend at YouTube and several others. That seems to not be the case.
In one video posted by video hosting service Dailymotion, Aghdam claims to be from Iran in an introduction to a mock appearance on America’s Got Talent. Her videos were very strange. She certainly hated YouTube as well as other video sharing sites. “There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site, your channel will grow if they want to!!!!!” she declared on one of her websites. This was one of many statements criticizing YouTube across her other websites and extensive social media presence, sometimes using the name Nasime Sabz Yeşil Nasim.
In one social media post on Facebook, she decried YouTube’s “hidden policy” of “discrimination” and “suppression of truth.” She had several YouTube accounts that posted dozens of videos espousing pro-animal rights as well as videos of herself dancing or demonstrating exercise moves in front of green screen backgrounds. She also seemed to be into fashion. After the shooting, her accounts were removed, but various screen grabs show the type of content that was typical of her animal rights-focused videos.
Aghdam reportedly maintained a personal website alleging that YouTube compensated her unfairly and censored her views. On her websites, statements such as, “Youtube filtered my channels to keep them from getting views!” can be found and images complaining about her revenue from her YouTube videos can be seen implying YouTube had been demonetizing her earnings. She also had an Instagram account where she would usually caption her posts in Persian. She made frequent reference to Iran and the Azeri ethnic group that resides primarily in Iran and neighboring Azerbaijan.
She was evidently also known by the name Nasime Sabz. The website “Interfaith Vegan Alliance” refers to her under that name and claims she is an adherent of the Baha’i faith, which is persecuted in Iran. They indicate she once ran a “TV show on Persian Satellite.”
Aghdam’s father said that she was furious at YouTube for not paying her and had been missing for a couple of days. The police had actually had a run-in with her earlier in the day before she went on her shooting spree at YouTube. Ismail Aghdam said he reported his daughter missing on Monday after she did not answer her phone for two days. He said the family received a call from Mountain View police around 2 a.m. Tuesday saying they found Nasim sleeping in a car. Her father said he warned them she might be headed to YouTube because she “hated” the company. “[YouTube] stopped everything and now she has no income,” her father stated.
At this point, police believe she did not know any of her victims. I’m not sure where the ‘boyfriend’ story came from.
In online postings last month, Aghdam alleged that YouTube tries to “censor and suppress people who speak the truth.” “BE AWARE!” warns a website that reportedly belonged to Aghdam. “Dictatorship exists in all countries but with different tactics! They only care for personal short term profits & do anything to reach their goals.”
One website contains several screenshots showing Aghdam’s YouTube user account page. The screenshots suggest that at least one of Aghdam’s YouTube accounts had been “demonetized,” meaning that she was not earning significant revenue from her uploads to the site. YouTube “demonetizes” some channels for reasons including inappropriate material or having fewer than 1,000 subscribers. Text superimposed on one of the screenshots reads: “My Revenue for 300,000 Views Is $0.10?????” This website also showcases her veganism and includes videos apparently showing animals being skinned and cooked alive. No wonder it was taken down.
Evidently this woman lost her revenue on YouTube and then had a psychotic break. Police were warned about her, but did not follow up. Then she went on a shooting spree before killing herself. This sad chain of events happened in a state with very strict gun control laws.
BREAKING: Just spoke to the father of Nasim Aghdam. He says his daughter had been missing for several days. When cops found her in NorCal last night, he warned them she was angry with YouTube. @CBSLA pic.twitter.com/mgCw9ivqos
— Tina Patel (@tina_patel) April 4, 2018
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