You Can’t Predict What Will Set an Individual Off

I’m sure you’ve already heard about the shooting at YouTube’s headquarters. Before evidence of the shooter’s motives was revealed, most people predicted the common justifications given by or ascribed to shooters (an attack in the name of ISIS, a domestic issue, the shooter taking revenge for being bullied, etc.). However, this shooting took a slightly unusual twist when it was revealed that the shooter may have perpetrated the crime because she was upset about YouTube’s policy changes:

In several videos posted over the last year or so, she angrily spoke about the company’s policies, saying they were filtering her videos so they wouldn’t get any more views, and she was upset over demonetization. It appears the channels have now been completely removed by YouTube, citing policy violations.

Since the shooter committed suicide, we’ll never know for sure what her motivations were. But evidence indicates that her motivation may have been changes to YouTube’s monetization policies that caused at least some of her videos to be demonetized. If this was indeed her motivation, it goes to show that you can’t predict what will set an individual off.

Any action a company or individual takes is potentially dangerous. Although a vast majority of policy decisions don’t result in violence, once in a while the decision to either maintain or change a policy can result in a disgruntled individual responding with violence.

Part of the reason security is so difficult is because people are unpredictable. Who would have predicted that YouTube’s decision to demonetize some videos would result in an individual going to the company’s headquarters and opening fire on employees before turning the gun on herself?