YouTube Attacker’s Complaints Echoed Fight Over Ad Dollars

Video creators, including Nasim Aghdam, have been complaining for months about YouTube’s pulling their ads. Then one of them went to company headquarters with a gun.

Comments: 95

  1. Youtube has become a kind of public square. In the public square, free speech should be the guiding principle. Adding money to the mix provides an incentive for creativity (and for sleaziness and outrageousness...). Money also can lead to a kind of censorship as we have seen when the corporations who do the most advertising don't want their ads to run alongside sleaze and outrage. I wonder if more government regulation could somehow improve the situation? Then again, I shudder at the thought of an administration like the Trump administration having direct control over what goes on on a site like Youtube. In any case, I for one am glad that the spotlight has been turned on the policies of Youtube and how those policies affect the lives of real people.

  2. Scott Pruitt, Ajit Pai, Ryan Zinke, to name a few representatives of what you can expect from our government these days in terms of oversight. You Tube, Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, the backbone of valuations that have continues to alter the social contract because profit motive has prevailed over any of the values we might share independent of your status or involvement in the wealth machine (again, independent of actually being useful or providing value to society at large). Everything seems framed by its commercial viability, not propriety or even scientific validity. What do we really expect.

  3. If you object to YouTube's financial incentivization of user content, then by logical conclusion you must also be devastatingly appalled by the United States of America and it's entire history.

  4. Youtube has always been curated by algorithms.

  5. YouTube is a private company. They set their rules and regulations, so user beware. If you don't like those rules, make your own website.

  6. that would be valid if the forementioned companies were not exercising Monopoly power. this is a Sherman anti-trust act case waiting for the justice department to overcome their institutional cowardice

  7. Sure. That must be why, if you wrote your personal political manifesto, you could send it to CNN/NYT/WaPo and demand that they put on up on their homepage, or be subject to a First Amendment claim. Not.

  8. Call it what you want, censorship is censorship.

  9. Except it wasnt censorship. It was about ad revenue. She could still post videos as long as they were not offensive.

  10. She could post anything she wanted, but she could "monetize" her work only if it was inoffensive and that is because YouTube apparently took an all or nothing view of advertising -- either your site gets advertising or it doesn't. But her work was probably not offensive to a significant minority of people and, thus, companies that might be targeting products to that audience. One to one correspondence will never be possible, but it does seem like YouTube is taking an upside down approach to solving this problem.

  11. YouTube is a private business. A private business cannot censor itself, it simply chooses what business it wants to do. Censorship is when people in power, political authorities, tell a (privately-owned) entity like a newspaper what it can and can't say. Get your terms straight, Corporal.

  12. I wonder if it might help YouTube if they added a statement to their website to the effect that anyone uploading videos to the site should agree to have no expectation of financial benefit from the website.

  13. The most simple solution to all of this.

  14. So, this wasn't gun violence. It was a left leaning PETA activist raging against the greedy capitalist machine. Interesting spin.

  15. That is not what the article is saying, the proponents of gun control do not care whether you are a liberal or conservative, it's about the availability of guns.

  16. This woman, Ms. Aghdam had a wired sense of what creativity is all about. I saw some of her videos on CNN and I agree with YouTube for getting rid of her. Her videos are wired just like her personality. She seemed to blame others for her failure as an artist.

  17. They did not get rid of her, they demonetized her videos.

  18. She was not getting the money she wanted to earn and she took violent action. With the bizarre videos she created it appears it was over for her with YouTube. Thanks for your clarifictaion.

  19. "wired"?

  20. YouTube's business model may need to change. Instead of YouTube governing who can or can't have ads, YouTube should leave it up to the advertisers themselves to decide who and what content they want to carry their ads and brand message. YouTube is seeing the effect of centralizing what was originally intended as a de-centralized system (a.k.a internet). If you have a closed centralized system, then you and you alone are responsible for everything about it. I doubt Google could ever hire enough moderators to fully control its content.

  21. This is the best, most succinct explanation of what is happening in many of these sites that I've seen.

  22. Whatever algorithms YouTube is using apparently don't target advertising very well. I can see how Jimmy John's (to take an example) would not want to pay for advertising that ends up on a vegan activist's YouTube channel. But maybe JustMayo, a vendor of vegan mayonnaise would be delighted. Is YouTube saying that it lacks the capacity to target advertising (and by extension advertising revenue) to those sites and channels where it would presumably be most effective? Maybe YouTube is never going to be a place that can simultaneously (1) provide a platform for a wide spectrum of expression by others with content not controlled by YouTube and (2) direct advertising dollars to an ever narrower range of those providing content. Eventually, it really will be full of travelogues and cute puppy and kitten videos and not much else. So ends another chapter on how something free and wild was tamed by the need to feed the moneyed beast.

  23. YouTube's ad platform does not have the advertiser choose the videos upon which its ads are attached. Further, different ads roll out to different demographics on the same videos. If you are a 60-year-old woman with Type 2 diabetes, YouTube likely knows that. It will push ads toward you that it thinks you might like. If you are a 22-year-old who watches a lot of gun videos, YouTube will happily let the NRA's ads play for you. Advertisers can't catalogue the massive amount of content on YouTube. That's the value of the platform to them. Their ads reach folks most likely to be their customers. But that algorithm can produce wonky results. It may turn out that white males in the South w/o a college degree watch a lot of White Nationalist videos. So if you sell a beer that you want to target to Southerners in their 20s, suddenly your ad may end up on some terribly racist video because it's viewership fits part of the broader target you've asked YouTube to reach. That's a nightmare for a company.

  24. I have heard a lot of what you would call mainstream Tubers complain that algorithm changes or policy changes have left them with falling or suddenly zero revenue. One example would be the comedy channel "Gloves And Boots" who posted a video about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pADmml8Z1Bc There is a lot of material about this issue . Many content creators are actually going back to having their own websites or using sites like Patreon. Obviously Ms. Aghdam has other core issues.

  25. This is the problem with making a living creating content that features Google ads. They change their policies and processes secretly and only they know why.

  26. I don’t believe that the shooter’s income dispute deserves a full article on the front page. There are no justifications or understanding what she did. Rather, the focus should be on other topics: the victims, the welfare check that morning, her mental health, how she purchased a gun, or even her families efforts to stop her.

  27. @Buford W.: I take your point, but her motives are relevant to the investigation of her crime, which did make front-page news. Because her complaints also reflect a growing wave of criticism against YouTube, they are of additional widespread interest to the public.

  28. I rarely watch YouTube videos and had no idea that people were making money through advertisements. Well if it is your only form of making a living and it is getting harder to do then get another job. Start your own blog. Or in the case of this gal some counseling before you go shooting people. I feel badly for her but I feel worse for her victims. If YouTube has had to clean up their website based on radical militants using their site to recruit so be it. Not so happy with the alt right Nazis using YouTube either. So perhaps paid advertising should be take out of the equation. Yes, freedom of speech is most important and so is artistic freedom but yelling fire in a crowded movie theater is against the law.

  29. Well stated Lauren, excellent thoughts, thank you! Isn't it funny that hate-filled bigots are always the ones screaming "denial of free speech!" Then, when given that freedom, what's the first and only thing out of their mouths? "Those Jews..." "those Muslims"..., "those Mexicans..." It's pure chicanery, the perpetrator playing victim.

  30. Youtube is a private sector business, not a public soapbox that all citizens have a constitutionally guaranteed right to use. It's not censorship if they refuse to put something on their website. If I submit an Op-Ed to the Times ranting about UFOs and they don't publish it, is that censorship? If whackjobs don't like Youtube's policies, they can use another video platform or create their own.

  31. The problem is, RT, that YouTube, unlike the Times, invites the whole world to upload a wide variety of content.

  32. Just because she was paranoid doesn't mean that youtube wasn't out to get her. The supposed self censorship of many platforms is becoming an increasing problem because these organizations really are biased....which is exactly what our destructive president wants. They are taking their lead from a very nasty man.

  33. Dear SW, That sounds paranoid too. YouTube is a business, it does not have to post everything, and it should definitely be censoring out a lot of content. Like terrorist decapitation videos, child pornography, incitement to violence, and deranged conspiracy theories. They are also not taking their lead from that idiot Trump. They edit out a lot of things he'd be fine with, like Playboy models and porn stars. They are running an entertainment business and have every right to run it as they want, the first amendment does not apply in this case. If you don't like it, start up your own internet video company.

  34. Hum, if I recall those who run Google, Apple, Facebook etc. are not strong supporters of the current President. The perspective that Trump has something to do with the censorship that these businesses pursue, and the New York Times putting their stamp of approval on the post, are misguided. More fake news.

  35. Get a job like the rest of us if you don't like the policies of Youtube or any other company.

  36. Why anyone would think posting content to get lots of views is a viable method of personal income is beyond me.

  37. Beyond me too, just like performance art or busking or raising vegetables and selling them at a roadside stand are beyond me, but they are not beyond the means and imagination of many, many people.

  38. This is exactly how the TV business works.

  39. While it is inexcusable for anyone to use violence in response to what they perceive as discrimination, it is upsetting that YouTube took away the opportunity to monetize videos that contained the word 'lesbian' or other LGBT videos. It was drastically unfair to content providers that had large followings for the benign activity of sharing life stories or education to LGBT people. Equating content from LGBT contributors to that of terrorists or Nazi sympathizers is upsetting and more does smack of social censorship. 'Straight' sites with similar content were not de-monetized. YouTube needs to look at their policies before they claim total innocence in these matters.

  40. As a corporate practice it might even be discriminatory. We have only begun to traverse the legal issues raised by private companies whose business model is based on the idea of providing what amounts to a "public forum." Could they decide not to provide equal terms to videos posted by African Americans or some other minority group, like Muslims?

  41. Facebook and Twitter take note. You've created a monster. If the YouTube shooting portends the future, it may be impossible now to manage offensive, antisocial messaging on your sites.

  42. Just a note, since the Times is making such a big deal of it: Ms. Aghdam was a vegan and stood for the humane perception and treatment of animals. Don't connect this with her final act of killing one.........herself. She probably had a kind heart but was a spin off victim of our social dysfunction on levels too numerous to count. She stood against dominionist behavior and attitudes that are the main reasons the animal called Mankind is so horrifically suicidal, self centered, and brutal toward his own kind as well as other She is an archetypal and sacrificial entity and a female. This is not to condone any of this action. I am deeply saddened by what is happening to our race. I don't think people are aware of what we are doing and just hide from reality in their comfortable zones. But karma is real and there is no escaping from the facts: Our brutality toward life is making us brutal toward each other. So, before just blatantly condemning her, look at the way we behave. And by the way, I wouldn't blame vegans who try to forego meanness in life. If you want to blame someone, consider our monstrous actions and the tens of billions of animals we mistreat every year. Donald Trump supports the inhumane treatment of animals including ourselves. So are vegans and animal rights proponents the problem or is it something far deeper and obscure?

  43. Brilliant!

  44. She killed only one, herself, but she also tried to kill others. She seems to be the sort of homicidal/suicidal maniac that you so aptly describe.

  45. Well, she was with PETA, so I’m not really surprised by her actions. PETA claims to be an animal rights organization but they really, really aren’t. If you do even a small amount of research, you tend to find that even the president has rather twisted views about how killing cats is better than letting them be strays or how their main shelter has a 80-90% kill rate or about how they kidnap pets and kill them immediately.

  46. A few thoughts, 1) How does killing yourself advance your cause/position/life/happiness? 2) No one should invest too heavily in ANYTHING online; online content is like a summer breeze, here today gone the next (including this comment). 3) It seems the norm today is for people to heavily invest in their public image; to the point even children have become self-publicists, media manipulators and self-image shapers even if the image they promote isn't exactly them (often it's not). 4) If Ms. Agham was so incensed that YouTube slighted her she should have simply sued, isn't that the American way? 5) I applaud Ms. Agham's pro-animal work. It's hard to merge the notion of animal lover with that of a mass shooter.

  47. "... she should have simply sued ..." On what legal grounds?

  48. Its also very expensive unless you can prove exceptional financial damage.

  49. Media content (newspaper, radio, magazines, internet content, etc), if financed by advertising, is always and has always been somewhat at the mercy of "censorship" by the advertisers. Advertisers, most logically, do not want to pay for advertising that they feel "tarnishes" their image or negatively impacts sales of their product, either directly or by association with whatever media content is linked to their advertising.

  50. Your comment is typical of many here that seem to based on the idea that "private is as private does" but that doesn't really capture the full set of issues at work here. YouTube lets people, basically anyone, publish whatever they want and then rewards some of those people based on whatever factors it has established with the opportunity to derive money from advertising revenue YouTube receives by (presumably) drumming up advertising. The possibility that this would drive discrimination is real and obvious. Already, for instances, it has been shown that LinkedIn and other platforms operate in ways that can be deemed discriminatory, by gender and age. Newspapers were required a long time ago to stop posting wanted ads by gender, because of the policy implications of facilitating employment discrimination, even though they were "private." If YouTube does not want to be regulated to avoid what appears to be a penchant to discriminate against minority groups in order to avoid controversy among its revenue sources it needs to think long and hard about matching what it tells advertisers with what it tells users -- both viewers and content providers, and being a lot more hands on in matching advertising with content.

  51. Barbara -- Your newspaper example doesn't hold up. Newspapers were not "required" to discontinue publishing gender-specific want ads. They stopped publishing gender-specific Help Wanted ads because the PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYERS were prohibited from designating gender preferences in their job listings. If employers were still permitted to advertise for "Gal Friday"s or "Copy Boy"s, the newspapers would still be publishing those ads. I'm not sure I understand the difference between YouTube selling ads that target a specific audience -- and rewarding the contact providers who attract that audience -- and television networks doing the same thing. Networks pay a premium for content that attracts the audience its advertisers want -- and the production companies pay the stars and creators of shows accordingly. Seems to me that YouTube is doing the same thing.

  52. JM, you are wrong. See: https://www.oyez.org/cases/1972/72-419 Went all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

  53. YouTube is not a public utility. I has no obligation to provide a way for you to make a living.

  54. True, but they do have an ethical obligation to be honest about what they're doing. That's what the shouting is about.

  55. People can make a living putting ridiculous videos online? It's official. I'm old.

  56. This is exactly how the TV business works. Have you seen the ridiculous content on your TV?

  57. Let's be real here. Yeah, OK, so Google/YouTube is censoring content. Not great, but it's their business. Get over it or don't use their service. Got nothing to do with that. This is all about insanity, which this gal obviously was, her access to firearms, and how to deal with it.

  58. I have to say, I'm really uncomfortable with the way the Times has been covering Ms Aghdam. When a person attempts murder and kills themselves, it is incredibly insensitive and dangerous to lionize them and their cause. When someone shoots up a school, we are rightly criticized for focusing on their personal frustrations rather than the victims. To those who are commenting about YouTube's changing ad policy, I suggest deeper study on the demonetization crisis, as it has been named. It's complicated, is very heavily driven by advertisers' demands, and operates at such a scale that the only option is to use an imperfect AI classifier. The attempted murderer's claims are presented here as fact, when they are in fact widely-challenged conspiracy theories. A broader study of people who make a career on YouTube will show that most of them have a nuanced view, taking into account the needs of the companies they work with. The attempted murderer's focus on her own needs alone is not something to celebrate.

  59. "... it is incredibly insensitive and dangerous to lionize them and their cause." Wrong. The Times is reporting her motives. That is standard procedure in crime reporting.

  60. The Times is publishing an opinion piece in support of her motives, citing a panel of people who agree with her. It's a far cry from "the attacker had previously published diatribes and promoted conspiracy theories about YouTube policies."

  61. YouTube appears to be making a serious effort to disincentivize unacceptable content on its online platform. I applaud YouTube for this. Traditional media is held responsible for what it publishes - legally responsible (or traditional media companies can be sued over their content) and commercially responsible by its advertisers. Here, YouTube is stepping forward to take responsibility for its content, for what the site does and does not reward with ad revenue. This will hopefully reduce the amount of false, misleading, racist, violent, and destructive content.

  62. Some commentators are saying You Tube is a private company, and you can go elsewhere if you don't like their conditions. Not true. You Tube is a monopoly.

  63. "You Tube is a monopoly." Wrong. Videos can be posted on many other websites, including Facebook. And anyone can create their own website. See this Wikipedia article: "List of video hosting services".

  64. Yuu tube is owned by Google, a public company.

  65. YouTube is a free service, right? There's no contract between users who post things that guarantees ad placement or revenue. I don't call the unilateral "agreements" used by free services as a real contract, since the provider can change the terms of service anytime they feel like it, without the consent of the user. So if you're getting a free platform already, maybe don't rely on it to monetize your enterprise.

  66. Times: "... Ms. Aghdam wrote on her website ..." There is no link to her website in the article. How did the Times verify the quote?

  67. Firstly, this lunatic woman's complaints should not be taken seriously, because she was an attempted murderer and mentally ill. Delusional and suicidal, please let's not give that kind of thing a major platform. Secondly, YouTube has no need to give coverage or money to anything that anyone wants to put on their platform. They are a business, they can block or demonetize any content they want to, and if they want to edit out all terrorist, gory, pornographic, and racist content, that sounds great. Nobody posting videos on YouTube should expect to make a lot of money doing so. Nobody should be trying to change the world with YouTube videos either. And above all, nobody should be firing a gun at random strangers because they don't like how their own life is turning out.

  68. I’m not 100% sure but I think there is a First Amendment line somewhere in what you are suggesting they do.

  69. From all that’s being revealed about the manipulative and propagandist uses of these Internet highways of self-curated information, this is pretty ridiculous. People are upset because they can’t make money off their posted videos? Get a life! Especially when they’re able to use the “credibility” of Google and Youtube (which millions of people think are the equivalent of 60 Minutes journalism) for their fake news or conspiracy tales?

  70. By the way, what's with all the compassion and sympathy for the shooter here? There's no doubt about it, this woman tried to kill random strangers with a gun. I don't recall all this sympathy for the Austin bomber or the Las Vegas shooter. Both of them had similar paranoid delusions and grudges, more obscure ones maybe. We had no sympathy for those psychopaths or most mass shooters because they don't deserve any. This woman does not deserve any sympathy either, the sad thing here is she wasn't stopped in time, the good thing is that she didn't manage to kill anyone. But she definitely wanted to, so for God's sake, stop siding with her.

  71. "... stop siding with her." Post an exact, sourced quote in which someone is "siding with her".

  72. Dear DFJ, This entire article is siding with her by pretending that there is some rational complaint about YouTube demonetizing its services. Several of the comments here, including a few of the NYT Picks, have paranoid conspiracy theories about YouTube censoring content. There's no benefit to any of this, the analysis of this shooting should be about this woman's untreated mental illness and her ability to get a gun despite that.

  73. Importantly (& sadly), it took this to make some of us aware of the issue. I applaud youtube's "effort" to make their site "less offensive" - I hope that is truly the case. It sounds, however, as if there are many bumps in the road. I was personally offended when I watched a youtube on the FL shooting & an NRA ad popped up in the middle! I immediately lobbed a complaint. Does the NRA have a right to do that? Why would youtube allow it? If they are censoring lesbians & not the NRA, we have a real problem. Time for youtube to step up & the watchdog groups to ride them mercilessly.

  74. Being a vegan activist is not a crime. Being a vegan activist is a commitment to take action against climate change and social injustice.

  75. In CA, there is a law—passed after the Elliot Rodger shootings near Santa Barbara—where police are required to check on firearms during a welfare check. When they dealt with this woman when she was asleep in her car, found out that she had been reported missing by family, why didn't they run her name through that database and ask about her firearm? CA has that list (almost no other state does) but it doesn't do any good if police don't check it when they encounter a person who is high-risk for self-harm. Sleeping in a car hundreds of miles from home, recently reported missing by family, tells police she is having family problems, these are risk signs! Take the two minutes to run her name though the gun list. Bingo! She's got a gun. Now she's a much, much higher risk. Does she have it with her? Can they retrieve it from the car? And we are not talking about high-risk for shooting up YouTube. We're talking high-risk for suicide. That's when you ask her to come in for observation to make certain she's healthy.

  76. What is happening with YouTube mirrors what happened with eBay 10 years earlier. In the beginning, eBay was like a genuine flea market, a place where people could sell/find interesting items and transact at low cost. Then, everything went down the drain with goods on offer being more like what you'd find in a swap meet (tube socks, anyone?) and with the platform imposing stunningly high fees (at least for amateur sellers). Ditto with YouTube. Used to be a place where you could find people who had something to say. Now, it's just about figuring out how to play the advertising game with all the implications. In short, what YouTube is serving up is cheese pizza. For that matter, Myspace and Facebook may have looked promising in the very beginning, but we know what happened to those, too. Twenty or 25 years on, much of the promise of the internet has faded quite miserably.

  77. People who post on YouTube do not have a contractual guarantee for anything - that their videos will be played, that they will receive a specific amount of revenue - basically they are lucky they can make money off something that they aren't having to pay for - exposure to the masses. It would seem as a company YouTube has the right to decide what they want to post, what they want to advertise, etc. If the people complaining don't like it, they could start a web-site. No one is censuring them - the fact is a private company isn't obligated to promote anyone's content. Frankly looking at the few snippets of video on the news from Ms. Aghdam I'm not sure why anyone would pay to see this stuff . I am dumb founded by the mindset that a company owes anyone the right to post videos and then assure they get paid. I rarely go on YouTube, but from what I can see most of the content is a monumental time waster.

  78. "I rarely go on YouTube, but from what I can see most of the content is a monumental time waster." Youtube has a search tool. Have you ever used it?

  79. I think as a species we're probably advanced enough to put print and radio to primarily positive uses. TV and cyber-communication? Not so much.

  80. "TV and cyber-communication? Not so much." You have a thesis, but no discernible argument that supports it.

  81. Why would you think print and radio were put to primarily positive uses? There have been all sorts of lies, propaganda, and incitement to violence in both print and radio.

  82. Let me get this straight. She joins PeTA because she's against terrorizing animals with testing/torture/slaughter/consumption. Then she purchases a gun with the intent of terrorizing and slaughtering innocent (and sentient) men and women. Sorry, but I find myself incapable of climbing that logic tree to arrive at any understanding. PeTA with their very provocative methods of protest placing the welfare of all animals at the apex of any and all other considerations - including public safety - seems to have to contributed to the YouTube assaults. As an organization they'd be well advised to reconsider their hypocritical tactics lest they be further stained by the actions of their adherents.

  83. "PeTA with their very provocative methods of protest ... seems to have to contributed to the YouTube assaults." What "provocative methods"? Explain in detail how they "seem[] to have to contributed to the YouTube assaults".

  84. The broader subject of cyber policing, content restriction and revenue generation in the internet by government and corporations is central to the broader discussion of this article. The comments of; YouTube is a business and has no obligation, get a job, YouTube and Google are business, get over it, in my estimation are misplaced. These business, aided by government regulation diminishing net neutrality are driving global communication - in fact all digital data - into the hands of the very few. From presidential elections to your bank balance, the television shows you watch and the digital photos of your kids, it’s all just data. It doesn’t exist outside code. How do you “start your own blog” if google restricts it? People are rightly concerned about how their data is being used, about invasion of privicy but there is flip side, how about if you found yourself on the outside and got systematically deleted.

  85. The main focus of this story centers around Ms. Aghdam and her toxic outrage concerning YouTube's social media policies. Fair enough, I get it and I suppose if I were in her situation I would have issues with YouTube's policy also. But what about the bigger issue, the one that wasn't mentioned at all, the use of a gun to shoot three people and then to kill herself? Where is the public outrage demanding immediate gun control laws and condemning the NRA? Is it because one killed and three were wounded didn't meet the four kill threshold to technically merit it a mass shooting? Could it be that her passing a twenty minute interview by police attesting to her sanity serves to minimize the background check barrier designed to keep guns out of the hands of crazies? Or was it because she was a vegan and a member of PETA that the left didn't want to criticize one of it's own? It's obvious that Ms. Aghdam had issues with a broad section of American customs and institutions and her inability to effectively deal with them caused her to become toxic and unhinged. It wasn't YouTube, the lack of gun control laws or the NRA that was behind this lethal tragedy. It was the conscious effort of Nasim Najafi Aghdam.

  86. YouTube is a business, not a public utility service. As a business they can choose to censor, police and demonetize content that is in conflict with their view of their "product". If people have a problem with it, they should create their own service, rather than going around killing people. Sadly, her actions seem to indicate mental health issues that went unaddressed.

  87. Looking at her pictures she looks like a punk rocker, or someone free spirited and that is OK to be like that in this world. However, when you have been reported missing and seen by the family as doing something out of character perhaps the police might have gone a bit further but US is a "free" society and police cannot see a good reason to search her car: she is well, not showing signs of craziness and has no criminal background. Now, the issue is her grudge with YouTube. I encourage and recommend that the investigators must analyze if it were ONLY HER VIDEOS (and perhaps some others) that were being censored or is this something YouTube is doing to everyone. Also, what needs to be analyzed is who was the person who placed the censors on her videos. Yes, that is extremely important, the investigators must determine the person making that decision. Was that person Iranian, Indian, Turkish etc. who disliked her and wanted to curtail her? I work with many persons from diverse backgrounds and can categorically say that I have observed behavior where people from same immigrant backgrounds actively pursue avenues to bring harm or pull others down who may seem to be advancing. If this is what happened in this case, then the person who made decisions on her videos is vicariously responsible for the actions of this deceased lady.

  88. What difference does any of that make? Are these "investigators" going to charge some low level mgr at Youtube with being an accessory to murder because he "de-monetized" this crazy woman's videos? Youtube has no more obligation to host those videos than the NYT has to publish my comments. Even if they did, whatever that "violation" is, it does not justify attempted murder.

  89. Why did Youtube take down her videos? They don't advocate violence and they bring what she considered a problem to light. Leave them up to generate discussion. I do not condone what she did in any manner, but when you take an action that has a large impact on someone's life, without any input from them or any recourse for them, you should not be surprised that some percentage of those people, especially ones like her who had a difficult life already, are going to snap. As only wealthy, well-connected people are able to get the ear of decision makers, expect this parade of people who have little to lose and a desire to make a point to continue. With so much of the population under stress, the 'mental health' issues will just get worse. Companies and institutions should learn to listen up and give people a thoughtful response to their concerns.

  90. YouTube has not only a right but a duty to its user community to moderate the company's online content. It's a private business, not a civil right. Anyone who says moderating is censorship doesn't understand the term's meaning. Censorship is when totalitarian leaders dictate what everyone can and can't say, in every kind of forum or discourse, public or private, with punishment for violators. The Internet is still a Wild West of exploration, creation and community building, for better and worse. If you don't like what one social medium filters out, find another, invent another or go rogue on a personal site. That's true freedom. I'm a journalist and free speech defender but I believe Internet forums need some voluntary law and order. I don't for a second buy the kind of garbage Facebook spews that it won't limit content because that limits free expression, and I especially loathe that it pushes what is clearly hateful false "news" because it says anything could be real news to some. Whether social media is protecting Russian propaganda, bullies or exploitative apps like the one built to suck out Facebook user information for Cambridge Analytica, the reckless cause real harm. The heck with miffed user complaints like the shooter's. The customer is not always right.

  91. YouTube should sensor a lot more than it does The hoax videos, the people who harass the Sandy Hook parents and Parkland teenagers, the pizzagate nonsense and uranium one falsehoods, the hate groups, the false healthcare info....all of it should be blocked.

  92. Interesting that this story combines elements of three current preoccupations: gender equality, gun violence and the cutthroat world of internet commerce. As if on cue. As if an algorithm is generating news events.

  93. I find it really problematic that the NYT promotes the image of this person, who clearly had deep psychological problems, such as failed anger management, and engaged in an act of mass violence. If you need to write about YouTube's problematic practices, please do so in a separate article, but do not tether your analysis of YouTube to the indirect promotion of the actions of a violent deeply troubled person. It's amazing to see that some NYT journalists apparently lack a certain media savviness and don't recognize how they're indirectly promoting problematic social behavior, by not being more careful about how they report on such issues. Do we really need to see the picture of this troubled person in violent mock-up dress?

  94. I used to ride dinosaurs to school. Some of the utube channels I follow complained about being demonitized. Really racy exploitation hate filled channels. History lectures from universitys. How to sort through engine codes on your car. How to trouble shoot heat pumps, all of that DIY ilk that you have to practice on retirement on limited means. These took not a little time and trouble to produce. Never any language that would offend my aunt. If I followed their path I tried to use products from advertisers mentioned. I would mention them when I placed a parts order. These are people that help me and others with a complaint about how they are not being paid for content. I believe that their complaints are valid. I would also question utubes accounting of sums due.

  95. So it's fine in America to chant "Death to Jews", so long as you do it without commercials? Considering how vile and offensive most commercials are, maybe America is on to something.