YouTube became the latest victim of gun violence in the United States when a woman started firing at company’s HQ in San Bruno, California. The woman shot three people at YouTube’s headquarters before killing herself. The authorities have now figured out the motive behind the attack. Also Read - Google will update Play Store guidelines, crack down on companies bypassing 30% feeAlso Read - Google Pixel 5, Pixel 4a 5G renders and specs leak: Mint Green color, Snapdragon 765G, and more
According to local authorities, the suspect’s firing at YouTube was fueled by anger at the company and the way it monetized local creators on its platform. “It is believed the suspect was upset with the policies and practices of YouTube,” said Ed Barberini, the chief of police in San Bruno, California. The suspect now identified as 39 year old Nasim Najafi Aghdam opened fire at YouTube HQ using a 9mm semiautomatic handgun, which she had legally purchased. The police say Aghdam fired indiscreminately at people before killing herself with the same gun. Also Read - YouTube blocks iOS 14 picture-in-picture, except on premium accounts
“There’s absolutely no link or relationship that we’ve identified between our suspect and anybody who was at the scene at the time of the incident,” Barberini said at a news briefing Wednesday.
Aghdam was reported missing on Monday and in the hours before the shooting, she encountered local police officers in another city, reports the Washington Post. The local police authorities say their interaction did not set off any alarms. She then headed to a local gun range on Tuesday before traveling to YouTube HQ and executed the firing during lunch time. Aghdam was found sleeping in her car on early Tuesday morning by police in Mountain View, California where Google is located. The Mountain View police said that Aghdam did not mention YouTube or harming anyone during her interaction.
Agdham was an active YouTuber who has posted videos about veganism, fitness and animal cruelty. Her channel has several hundred thousand subscribers and she had expressed frustration with the company and claimed the Google-owned platform restricted her content. She also complained that YouTube was discriminating against her and is not monetizing her video content. Her relatives claim to have warned the police about her frustration with the video platform. Google did not respond about Agdham’s YouTube channel or why they restricted her content.
The attack in San Bruno marks the latest in the series of wide-spread gun violence in the US. Yesterday’s attack has transformed a safe workplace into a chaotic scene and Google said it is working with authorities to help the victims and their families. The violence also led to call for stronger gun control laws from major tech CEOs including Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Uber’s Dara Khowrowshahi.
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The shooting at YouTube comes just two months after 17 students were killed when a gunman fired at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The attack has led to rallies around the country demanding regulators to amend new laws restricting access to guns. The YouTube attack has seen similar measures from tech CEOs and tech employees in the San Francisco-Bay Area. While the attack on YouTube was driven by a personal motive, major lawmakers will be questioning the easy access to guns that makes it possible for anyone to execute such an attack.