Allegations of YouTube censorship have been a huge concern for many YouTube contributors who have said their videos were being banned, removed, demonetized, or demoted. Nasim Najafi Aghdam was one such contributor who became so disturbed by her losses that she reportedly traveled hundreds of miles to wage a violent assault on YouTube employees at the company’s headquarters with her 9-millimeter handgun, according to The Atlantic.
San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini explained to CNN that Nasim Aghdam was so “upset” about the demonetization of her YouTube videos that it motivated her to become a mass shooter.
“We know (Aghdam) was upset with YouTube, and now we’ve determined that was the motive.”
The YouTube shooting tragically left three YouTube employees injured before Nasim Aghdam turned the gun on herself. Aghdam traveled hundreds of miles from her home in San Diego to the YouTube corporate headquarters in San Bruno, according to The Atlantic.
Nasim Aghdam produced music videos as well as exercise videos and was outspoken about animal rights. Aghdam reportedly expressed her feelings on a website, though The Atlantic responsibly points out the site has not yet been proven by authorities to actually belong to Nasim Aghdam. The site reportedly attributes Nasim Najafi Aghdam with these words quoted in The Atlantic.
“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!”
Motherboard on Vice, days before Nasim Najafi Aghdam’s shooting attack on YouTube’s headquarters, created a well-researched article on the challenges YouTube experiences with regard to censorship, concluding that YouTube is acting “under pressure” from multiple governments, various users, and corporate sponsors.
“Today, companies like YouTube face a difficult challenge. They’re under pressure from different governments to remove a wide range of content, and any decision they make to censor will undoubtedly lead to more censorship.”
YouTube is “beholden” to advertisers and shareholders, according to Motherboard, and that has led them to a history of censoring videos, including the recent so-called “YouTube Purge.”
“At the same time, they’re beholden to advertisers, shareholders, and, to a lesser degree, their own users, and often forced to strike a balance between competing views of acceptable content.”
Nasim Najafi Aghdam was one of many outspoken critics of YouTube’s new policies, but there are many other frustrated film artists, news commentators, and even DIY journalists who are finding their material removed, demonetized, or demoted. While it is no justification for Aghdam’s actions, Nasim is hardly alone in being upset by the “YouTube Purge.”
Because of YouTube’s recent unpopular policies, other platforms have started to challenge the website’s dominance in the video-sharing market.
BitChute and DTube are already offering video services similar to YouTube, points out Polygon, and many YouTube video artists are already uploading their data to these sites as well to protect it from YouTube’s deletions. Vloggers can create online backup copies, at the very least in the face of mass deletion of content.
Will YouTube eventually feel the loss of traffic due to their own censorship?