The Youtube Shooter was an Iranian Immigrant.
And the media really wants to make sure you know this. Just days before the Youtube shooter attacked San Bruno, California, I wrote this Facebook status:
The first rumor was that the Youtube shooter shot her boyfriend in a domestic violence dispute. But immediately after her identity and self-proclaimed grudge with Youtube was revealed, people rushed to paint this as an act of terrorism against America. Some even pointed to her headwrap to insinuate that she was muslim. Yet she was neither muslim nor an illegal immigrant as people would have liked to her to be to fit their narrative.
Nasim Aghdam voiced a desperation many Youtubers face today. Last year, the Wall Street Journal made viral headlines about Youtube megastar Pewdiepie’s racial bigotry, pressuring advertisers to leave Youtube. Damage control ensued immediately. Youtube created new policy that automatically demonetized any videos that were not ‘advertiser friendly.’
But why? A lot of my own videos contain controversial material or raunchy humor. Does this mean I shouldn’t be compensated for still bringing traffic to Youtube’s site?
This is the guideline that punishes activism videos made by the Youtube Shooter and others political channels:
So if your video has any controversial keyword like Racist, Terrorist or even Politics in it, you probably can’t make money off of it. You could spend thousands on an educational PSA about suicide. But you couldn’t make any money because of Youtube filtering of sensitive words like Suicide. This sabotages any high-production channels that rely heavily on ad-revenue to create content.
Here’s the catch. Many times, Nasim Aghdam didn’t fit in any of these cases. Even a simple, fully-clothed Yoga video was demonetized on her channel. I can attest to my own swear-free, non-controversial, nudity-free, clean-humored videos being demonetized on my channel. I take time to make deliberately non-offensive content on my channel only to get demonetized regardless. And by the time I request a manual review, the video already peaked its view count. Even larger Youtubers like H3H3 complained of inconsistency in this system.
The Youtube Shooter & Parkland Shooter Double Standard
What’s the difference between the Youtube shooter and the Parkland shooter? Well for one. Nasim Aghdam didn’t actually kill anyone. Yet when Parkland shooter Nick Cruz kills 17 children, we are expected to immediately skip over their deaths and empathize with the killer’s ‘troubled past.’ While Nick Cruz was admittedly ostracized–not bullied– for his creepy behavior in school. We ostracize plenty of people. Murderers. Perverts. Racists. Violent aggressors. Take a look at this kid’s instagram. Is he someone you would be friends with? Let me know.
And even if Nick Cruz was bullied… why are we expected to empathize with him? When was the last time a bullied Black nerd in the hood shot up a school? When a poor Black person robs someone to feed their family, we blame the individual. They go to jail. No backstory. When a White person kills 17 children, we blame society. And write stories about how lonely they were in their heated suburban home.
Oh. And fan mail.