Nasim Aghdam, the suspected YouTube mass shooter, had a prolific presence on social media, and her now-deleted YouTube channel included rants against the company. You can watch some of her videos, which she also posted to Facebook and Instagram, below. She used the name Nasime Sabz on YouTube.
It appears from her social media presence that the 39-year-old Californian and animal rights activist was a wannabe YouTube star, as her channel contained prolific and somewhat glitzy videos that showcased everything from cooking to exercise. Her father, Ismail Aghdam, told the San Jose Mercury News that he reported his daughter to police after growing concerned over her anger toward YouTube, CBS Los Angeles reports. The father told the Mercury News that “his daughter became angry with YouTube after the company stopped paying for the content she posted online,” CBS reported. He also told the newspaper that police had found her sleeping in her car after he told them she was missing and angry at YouTube.
“Nasim the Persian Azeri female vegan bodybuilder, also animal rights activist promoting healthy and humane living. Nasim produced and launched the first Persian TV commercial and music video (Do You Dare) regarding animal rights and veganism through international Iranian satellite Television in 2010,” read the “About” section on her YouTube channel. You can see her website here. On it, she refers to “Nasim, first Persian female vegan body builder” and quotes Thomas Edison as saying, “Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are savages.”
Her YouTube channel has been deleted, although it remained active for a short time following the mass shooting, which left three wounded and Aghdam dead of what police say was a self-inflicted wound on the massive campus in San Bruno. She had more than 5,000 subscribers, and her videos had been viewed more than one million times. She also has a page on DailyMotion, where she posted 44 videos but only had 12 followers. Those videos, many in Farsi, also run the gamut from exercise videos to cooking demonstrations, such as one on a vegan omelet.
In one video, she complained that YouTube “discriminated and filtered” her content. “In the video Aghdam says her channel used to get lots of views but that after being filtered by the company, it received fewer views. In a Facebook post from February 2017 Aghdam blasted YouTube saying, ‘There is not equal growth opportunity on You Tube,'” reported NBC Bay Area.
She wrote on Instagram: “All my youtube channels got filtered by youtube so my videos hardly get views and it is called ‘merely relegation.’ This is also happening to many other channels on youtube. This is the peaceful tactic used on the internet to censor and suppress people who speak the truth and are not good for the financial, political … gains of the system and big businesses. I recently got filtered on instagram too and maybe its related to youtube and youtube staff asked instagram to filter me here too!!?”
However, overall, she appears to be trying to be a YouTube star, with goofy parody videos. One video was a Taylor Swift parody video and another was a comedy video called “Americans vs Iranians.”
Here’s the Taylor Swift parody video:
Other posts and videos referred to veganism, animal rights, cooking, and parodies. In some, she showed off muscular biceps. She used her social media presence to highlight her activism in part. She was quoted in 2009 by The Los Angeles Times as participating in an animal rights protest. “For me animal rights equals human rights,” the article quoted Nasim Aghdam, then 29, as saying, identifying her as “a construction company office manager from San Diego.”
“Just because they can’t talk doesn’t mean we should take advantage of them,” she also said, according to the article. That article’s lead says, “Two dozen animal rights activists — accompanied by four dogs — demonstrated outside Camp Pendleton today to protest the use of pigs in “live tissue” training for Marines and sailors learning how to treat battlefield casualties.”
Authorities have not yet specified a motive. Although early news reports out of California reported that the shooting at the San Bruno HQ of YouTube may have stemmed from a domestic dispute, police said later that this is not true. The shooter died at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to police. The three other people who were shot in the attack have not yet been identified. Authorities revealed in a press release that Nasim Najafi Aghdam was the shooter and wrote, “The San Bruno Police Department is investigating a motive for this shooting. At this time there is no evidence that the shooter knew the victims of this shooting or that individuals were specifically targeted. Anyone with any information related to this crime is urged to contact the San Bruno Police Department at (650) 616-7100 or by email: email@example.com. Information can be left anonymously.”
The mass shooting unfolded on the afternoon of April 3, 2018 and sent YouTube employees dashing for the exits of the large complex.
The shooter’s YouTube page is down, but here are screenshots of many of the videos that appeared on it:
You can read more about Nasim Aghdam here: