San Bruno, CA – The woman who shot three people at the YouTube campus on Tuesday, before she killed herself, had long accused the company of discrimination.
“She had a problem with YouTube,” her brother, who did not want to be identified, told WTTG.
He explained that his sister, Nasim Najafi Aghdam, 37, was upset that the platform had not directed more traffic to her pages, and said that she told her family that, “YouTube screwed up my life,” WTTG reported.
Aghdam, a southern California resident, had accused both YouTube and Google, which owns the platform, of intentionally damaging her website by lowering her ranking in search results, The New York Times reported.
Recently, she told family members that YouTube was paying her less for her four channels, and that her videos were being censored. Aghdam also told her family that she “hated” the company.
“She was angry,” her father, Ismail Aghdam said, according to The New York Times.
He said that his family emigrated from Iran in 1996, and that his daughter never displayed any signs of violence prior to Tuesday, USA Today reported. He described her as an animal-lover, who held strong beliefs about vegan-related issues.
Public records indicated that Aghdam founded an animal-rights charity called Peace Thunder Inc., and that she also spent time training to be a pilot, USA Today reported.
According to her website, Aghdam had YouTube channels in English, Turkish, and Farsi, and devoted a fourth to “hand art.” The channels had been removed as of Wednesday morning.
According to The New York Times, Aghdam discussed veganism, Persian culture, and animal cruelty in many of her videos. She also provided aerobics tutorials, and performed musical parodies.
On her website, Aghdam blasted YouTube for what she perceived to be censorship of her content.
“New close-minded youtube employees, got control of my farsi youtube channel last year 2016 & began filtering my videos to reduce views & suppress & discaurage me from making videos!” she said on her the site. “There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site, your channel will grow if they want to!!!!!”
“We are learning that Ms. Aghdam had a problem with the policies or practices that YouTube had employed,” San Bruno Police Chief Barberini said, according to The New York Times. “Obviously, she was upset.”
YouTube has recently been relying on an algorithm to mass-demonetize most channels, claiming that the content is potentially inappropriate for advertisers. That means that the majority of ads are removed from the videos. Video creators can appeal the demonetization, but this lengthy process usually comes after most of their followers have already viewed the video.
The change has left a large number of YouTubers without their source of income.
She described herself as an “Athlete Artist Comedian Poet Model Singer Host Actor Director Producer” on her Instagram account, according to USA today.
Her YouTube, Instagram and Facebook videos and pages were taken down by the companies Tuesday night.
According to her family, Aghdam generally spoke to their mother every day, and family members became concerned when they were unable to reach her in “a while,” WTTG reported.
Her brother said that they tried to visit her on Friday, and that they reported her as a missing person on Saturday.
He said an officer contacted the family at approximately 2 a.m. on Tuesday, and said Aghdam had been located in Northern California.
“We called the cop and told them there’s a reason she went from San Diego to that, so she might do something,” her brother claimed. “The cop told us they’d keep an eye on her.”
“After 12 hours the shooting happened. She got killed, the other 3 people got hurt,” the unnamed man said. “I did my best to avoid it but looks like cop didn’t do their job.”
Aghdam’s brother said that Wednesday would have been his sister’s 38th birthday, and that she might have wanted to “leave the earth the same day she came,” WTTG reported.
Police said that Aghdam did not have any known prior relationship with the individuals she shot and wounded at the YouTube campus, despite previous media reports, The New York Times reported.
According to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital spokesman Brent Andrew, a 27-year-old woman was listed in fair condition, a 32-year-old woman was in serious condition, and a 36-year-old man was in critical condition.