Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Youtube

Employees Who Worked at YouTube Say Violent Threats From Volatile 'Creators' Have Been Going on For Years (businessinsider.com) 349

Anonymous readers share a report: YouTube managers had no way to predict Nasim Aghdam would go on a bloody rampage, but they had plenty of reasons to fear that someone like her might one day show up, say former employees. Aghdam was the 38-year-old, disgruntled YouTube video creator who arrived at the company's San Bruno, California, headquarters on April 3 and began blasting away with a 9mm handgun. She wounded three staffers before she killed herself. Police say leading up to the shooting Aghdam, who was from San Diego, believed YouTube sought to censor her and ruin her life.

This kind of violence is unprecedented in YouTube's 13-year-history, though Aghdam's anger and paranoia aren't unique among the millions of people who create and post videos to the site, according to five former YouTube employees. In exclusive interviews, they told Business Insider that going back to the service's earliest days, frustrated creators -- seething over one of YouTube's policy changes or the other -- have threatened staffers with violence. Typically the threats were delivered via email. At least once, a video creator confronted a YouTube employee face-to-face and promised he would "destroy" him.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Employees Who Worked at YouTube Say Violent Threats From Volatile 'Creators' Have Been Going on For Years

Comments Filter:
  • Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder with a long-term pattern of abnormal behavior characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of empathy. People affected by it often spend a lot of time thinking about achieving power or success, or about their appearance. They often take advantage of the people around them. The behavior typically begins by early adulthood, and occurs across a variety of social situations.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    • so... every politician, ever?

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Not all of them. Many politicians don't have an excessive need for admiration. They do what they must in order to get votes, but that's it.

        Don't get me wrong here....I agree that all politicians are evil. And that is a matter of logical necessity. The job attracts evil people, and evil people have and advantage over good people when trying to get the job, and even if a good person does get the job the subsequent need to compromise with evil people in order to get anything done has an unavoidable corrupt

        • by sycodon ( 149926 )

          Some politicians don't want admiration. They prefer to stay in the background and have control. They are the ones that want to tell you how to behave, what to drive, when you can drive it, what you should or should not eat, etc.

          Maybe it's part of their control strategy since being stealthy when doing this shit is a requirement.

        • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2018 @04:25PM (#56454475) Homepage Journal
          I still find it VERY interesting, that this story dropped off the face of the earth (ok, at least the mainstream news) so rapidly....especially since it hit a major company with such a public face, YouTube / Google.

          I have to think it had something to do with the facts that this gun killing crime didn't fit with the parameters that the left considers more beneficial to their agenda to get rid of guns and enact more gun control.

          I guess it was inconvenient that the shooter:

          1. Was female

          2. Was a foreigner, or at the very least, was not a white guy.

          3. Was a handgun, and not a scary looking black semi-automtic rifle. Nope, a semi-automatic handgun just isn't as scary, so not wanting to press that in the news.

          But still...people were killed, and yet....well, we had no marches, no politicians screaming "think of the children", and calling legal gun owners murderers, or trying to vilify the NRA (which by the way, is made up of and funded by gun owning US citizens, it isn't a faceless evil corporation).....

          Funny isn't it? I think it was news worthy what...maybe 2 days tops?

          • by Quirkz ( 1206400 ) <ross.quirkz@com> on Tuesday April 17, 2018 @04:57PM (#56454665) Homepage

            no politicians screaming "think of the children"

            Maybe because no children were killed in this particular incident?

          • by bws111 ( 1216812 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2018 @05:13PM (#56454769)

            Yep, same thing with the Maryland school shooting that happened a couple of weeks ago.

            1. Handgun
            2. Shooter had it illegally, so 'background checks' and 'age limits', etc would not help at all
            3. Shooter taken out by armed security

            That one disappeared REAL fast

            • by Ogive17 ( 691899 )
              Shooter killed himself. Did anyone other than the shooter die? I know he shot two others, not sure if they survived.

              Maybe instead of it being covered up it just got overshadowed by worse events...
            • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 17, 2018 @06:47PM (#56455239)

              Posting as AC due to being long-time-reader, and probably my second post in 20 years. Your facts are off. Not that I see any connection between the Maryland shooting in St. Mary's and the Youtube shooting, but I can't help myself because you're wrong on the internet. There's an XKCD for that.

              I live in the next County over and have been following this unusually closely just because it's local. So let's go:

              1. Handgun. Yes. A Glock 9mm, I assume a Glock 19. If I'm not mistaken, such handguns are legally limited to a 10-round magazine in Maryland. I'm not certain because I haven't looked into owning a gun in this state. I'm a transplant from Virginia and am a gun owner. But my current circumstances preclude me from keeping a firearm of any sort in my home. I have seen no reports that the shooter had more than one magazine in possession, so that indicates a maximum possible load of 11 rounds.

              2. Shooter had it illegally. Technically, yes. In the sense that a 14-year-old drives a parent's car illegally. He was not of legal age to purchase or own a firearm of any sort in the State of Maryland. The Glock in question was his father's, who I assume did own it legally. But he couldn't be bothered to secure it in a gun safe, it was subsequently acquired by the shooter, and here we are.

              3. Shooter taken out by armed security. This is a false statement. The shooter shot his girlfriend (or perhaps recently ex-girlfriend). He then shot himself. The "armed security" you speak of was a school resource officer who happened to be unusually close by. The resource officer shot the shooter simultaneously. This was widely reported in the media as an example of good guys with guns ending bad guys with guns. Several days later the coroner's report came out and it stated that the shooter's fatal bullet was his own, not the resource officer's.

              This was not a "school shooting" in the traditional sense. This was an incident of domestic violence. The people involved were high school age so it's reasonable to conjecture that any such domestic violence, involving guns or not, is likely to happen at school. Had they been ten years older it would have happened at home or at work. Had he been slightly less homicidal, he would have beaten her at school. Having been at Virginia Tech in April of 2007, please refrain from accusing me of splitting hairs. I know what a mass shooting at school looks like in some detail. This is not that.

              From the available evidence that I've read (mostly from local, rural, moderately conservative-leaning media) there is no indication that the shooter intended to shoot anyone other than his girlfriend and himself. Since the coroner's report states that the fatal bullet was his own, the combination of these two facts yields the result that the resource officer's actions (actions I support, for the record) led to no difference in outcome.

              Now the real conjecture comes. There's no evidence that I've read to substantiate the notion that this was in play here. But statistically, most domestic violence is a learned behaviour. Most domestic abusers are so because they saw a parent being a domestic abuser. Dollars to donuts, this kid saw that gun aimed by his father at his mother at least once. Mass shootings are perpetrated by someone completed different. Stephen Cho was deeply unhinged, for sure, but I very much doubt he saw one of his parents kill thirty-some unarmed civilians.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Or maybe because on average there's over 90 gun deaths in the US per day it's not particularly newsworthy (https://everytownresearch.org/gun-violence-by-the-numbers/#DailyDeaths)? If it didn't happen at Youtube, who would even care? There's no need to jump to conspiracy theory.

          • by Dare nMc ( 468959 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2018 @05:32PM (#56454865)

            This was a single death with a gun, only the shooter dead, practically a suicide. Their are 60 suicides by gun a day in the us, around 30 homicides a day with guns.

            How loud and for how long do you expect the "liberals" to drag out each of these 90 deaths a day?

            Honestly in a case like this, that doesn't fit the mold and results in a single death, their is little to gain by attempting to address it, and publicizing it makes repeats more likely. When you have 90 deaths a day by guns in the US, and less than 15% of them are by woman, even lower rates by foreigners, much more is to be gained by society to not focus on this unusual situation.

            If anything I am a little surprised no news media focused on how California's laws, making it so much more difficult to get semi-automatics rifles and big clips... may have reduced the impact of this crime, could even have something to do with California being 42nd out of the 50 states in gun homicide rate. And how they have much better reporting of the mentally ill... already makes mass death situations like that one in Florida and one in Nevada less likely. They could have used this one to point out these things again, but maybe all the media are not all a bunch of liberals looking for any reason to vilify those on the right.

          • by SvnLyrBrto ( 62138 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2018 @07:43PM (#56455507)

            Nope. It's remained in the news, as the story has developed. The police released the body camera footage from their earlier encounter with her a few days ago... that made the Friday news. And just this morning, there was a segment on KCBS about possible possible security changes at company campuses as as result of the shooting. But hey... carry on... and don't let a little thing like facts get in the way of your narrative.

          • all lived, all walked out of the hospital. As shootings go it was barely even a blip. It only made the news because it happened at Youtube and the women is kinda odd looking.
          • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2018 @03:28AM (#56456691) Journal

            Funny isn't it? I think it was news worthy what...maybe 2 days tops?

            Hahaha yes, funny!

            I mean it must be a liberal consipracy to do something. Of course if it was in the news for longer it would be a liberal conspiracy to take your guns. Either way it must be a liberal conspiracy.

        • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2018 @05:41PM (#56454917)

          Not all of them. Many politicians don't have an excessive need for admiration. They do what they must in order to get votes, but that's it.

          Don't get me wrong here....I agree that all politicians are evil.

          I disagree with this thinking, I agree that there's a disproportionate number of "evil" politicians, and a bunch more who went in good and were corrupted by the system. But I think there's a lot more who, despite being ambitious, are also genuinely trying to do what they think to be the right thing with integrity.

          I find the "all politicians are evil" to be really counter-productive. It lets the bad ones get away with anything since they're all assumed to be evil anyways. And the good ones aren't rewarded for being good since people assume ulterior motives.

          I think that's one of the things that got Trump elected, he was ridiculously corrupt and dishonest but a lot of people couldn't really register it because they already assumed all politicians to be completely corrupt and dishonest. If anything they found him more trustworthy because the corruption and lies were so obvious people didn't feel deceived and he seemed more honest.

    • So... exactly the kind of person YouTube encourages to become a "creator" as opposed to the other rif-raf that just occasionally uploads a video?

      • There is a degree Narcissism involved if you are going to be a full time content creator. It is a lot of work to do this full time, so stroking ones ego is a form of compensation that helps makes it worth it. This is the same as with many other performers or public facing people. The difference it YouTube is a medium where you don't need to deal the more level headed people who may say "No" or you have gone to far. Or just flat out fire you and retcon in a replacement character. They lack any humility fac

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DickBreath ( 207180 )
      For a second there I thought you were describing the president.
    • by MrKaos ( 858439 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2018 @09:45PM (#56455967) Journal

      Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder

      I've been writing a book on this subject and the impact of the psychological abuse from NPD. One abusive parent is required and one fawning parent who feels guilty about the abuse and tries to compensate.

      with a long-term pattern of abnormal behavior characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration,

      Also entitlement and imposing their emotional needs onto you via psychological manipulation.

      and a lack of empathy.

      I have to clear this bit up because it's important, especially if you don't want to become a victim. Empathy's traditional meaning is an awareness of other peoples feeling. Somehow, in the modern vernacular, it has been attached to compassion for other peoples feelings.

      To be clear, narcissists do have empathy, however they way they use it to manipulate people better so they can secure narcissistic supply.

      People affected by it often spend a lot of time thinking about achieving power or success, or about their appearance. They often take advantage of the people around them.

      Thinking about it, but rarely achieving it. To be clear, narcissists are losers. They aren't talented enough at anything to be able to get what they want because they are so preoccupied manipulating people around them to get the emotional validation they seek.

      This is the essence of narcissistic supply and everything they do is geared around how and what they have to do to manipulate people into interacting with them that way.

      It's the narcissists sense of absolute superiority that makes them unable to submit to any discipline that would make them good any anything to generate those feelings in people in a genuine way. Everything about the narcissist is their false self and maintaining the perception of it.

      The behavior typically manifests by early adulthood, and occurs across a variety of social situations.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      The correction was necessary because they, themselves were abused over time. If you are going to feel any compassion for a narcissist feel it for when they were a child from age 3-13 when their brains were still plastic and their abusive parent conditioned them to being abused and the fawning parent told them they were special. After this age the narcissist is beyond help because they don't think anything is wrong with them and over time they will drive their victims to complete emotional breakdowns remorselessly and then discard them callously.

      You have nailed it that it is those people that would attack the Youtube staffers instead of being grateful they have a platform. I'm not qualified to make a diagnosis, however the traits are there. Youtube took their narcissistic supply away from them, caused them an un-excusable narcissistic injury, they felt entitled to retribution.

      What I'll point out though is narcissists are conscious of getting into trouble so this person was highly likely to be slipping over to an anti-social personality disorder. It's likely they are diagnose-able with one of these conditions.

  • And? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fredgiblet ( 1063752 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2018 @02:55PM (#56453867)
    Is this surprising at all? I'm sure that random death threats have been getting lobbed around since antiquity. It's just easier now.
    • Exactly. When your business involves interacting (even digitally) with millions of people, it would be inconceivable for you NOT to encounter some people who are nuts.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I've never had anything I felt was a serious death threat in my life. Even on the internet. And I'm Amimojo.

  • News at eleven (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Gaygirlie ( 1657131 ) <gaygirlie&hotmail,com> on Tuesday April 17, 2018 @02:58PM (#56453883) Homepage

    Unstable people with real need for professional help sometimes end up harming themselves and other people when given easy access to guns.

    • In the past these crazy people all existed but were limited to people they interacted with in real life. Now crazy people find each other and get egged on by the rest of the internet.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by cayenne8 ( 626475 )

      Unstable people with real need for professional help sometimes end up harming themselves and other people when given easy access to guns.

      If only they would just do themselves before harming others, then who cares?

      And, if they didn't have a gun, they'd do it some other way.....like you said, they are unstable.

  • This story says nothing special about YouTube. In any group of a billion people (i.e., YouTube users), some of them are going to be crazy, or violent, or both.

  • Then get a fucking day job like the rest of us losers.

  • Looks like some pre attack shelling to soften up the ground by ambulance chasers. rats ... ambulance chasers... all same
  • One incident - harbringer, two incident - trend, three incidents - national catastrophe

  • they had plenty of reasons to fear that someone like her might one day show up,

    No, they did not.

    Employees Say Violent Threats Have Been Going on For Years

    anger and paranoia aren't unique among the millions of people who create and post videos to the site

    These demonstrate that many people say obnoxious things, but that does not mean that they will actually do something.
    People ask why the FBI does not identify violent shooters before they kill people. I am sure the FBI gets tens of thousands of reports about such people, and very very few actually do anything. How do you tell the difference?

  • by MSTCrow5429 ( 642744 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2018 @03:53PM (#56454255)

    YT randomly changes policies, which are always vaguely written policies. It's impossible for creators to contact YT for help with arbitrarily (and often wrongly) applied policies. Many otherwise successful moneymakers, for YT first and foremost, suddenly and without warning are thrown under the bus. I've never been a creator, but how many people does YT have to screw over before they screw over the wrong person?

    • by eaglesrule ( 4607947 ) on Tuesday April 17, 2018 @05:25PM (#56454825)

      I hope YT continues to screw over content creators. The best thing that could happen would be if that SJW feminist CEO Susan Wojcicki, who is worth nearly half a billion dollars as she cheats content producers out of income, drops policy bombs until there is a mass revolt.

      It isn't that I want to see such a marvel of a marketplace of ideas burn; it would just be preferable to a death by a thousand cuts in having the producers disperse. A new platform that protects free speech, that promotes content fairly, and is not capricious in dealing with content producers is required. I would gladly pay to access that.

    • They already have. The girl who shot the place up was unhappy in a sudden major reduction in videos watched on her channel.

      She was nuts, yes, 100% but they fucked with her, so she came for them.

  • If you're business model attracts crazies by offering them free money, perhaps you should come up with a different business model?
    • I don't like to do business with anyone I can't find in real life and shake by the shirt collar if they fuck with me. Youtube is so reliant on algorithms and anonymity that they forget that people can track them down and give them what-for. They feel so insulated from their user base that they treat them like crap with impunity. If they had to shake hands and make eye contact with the people they partner with, they would never treat people this horribly.

    • Bait and switch is indeed a poor business model, but it does work if your company has a secure monopoly position.
  • Any time you make changes that impact someoneâ(TM)s income in a negative way, people get angry about it.

    How angry depends on how badly they were screwed over in addition to the individuals personality.

    See any news story about a recently fired employee who came back armed to the teeth with vengeance on their mind.

    This type of behavior is far from unique to online venues.

  • A lot of these "tech campus locations" are wide open. It's suppose to be open, encourage creativity bla bla bla. You see some of the same going into some public schools. This "open space" approach can make it too easy for a NUT JOB to cause havoc.
  • I for one would not want to make "Diamond and Silk" angry ...
    • by martinX ( 672498 )

      I saw them and I think if they said "Reinstate our YouTube channel with ALL the monetisation. NOW." to me, my only response would be "Yes, ma'am." And I would.

All laws are simulations of reality. -- John C. Lilly

Working...