YouTube's plan to clean up the mess that made it rich

Extremist propaganda, dangerous hoaxes, videos of tasered rats — the company is having its worst year ever. Except financially.

Susan Wojcicki, the chief executive officer of YouTube, was in a meeting on the second floor of her company’s headquarters in San Bruno, Calif., when she heard the first gunshot. It came from outside; more followed. Some of her employees ran for the exits; others barricaded themselves in conference rooms. Those eating lunch on the outdoor patio hid under the tables.

At a press conference the following day, April 4, the San Bruno police confirmed that the suspected shooter was Nasim Aghdam, 39, an enigmatic social media personality from San Diego. She’d acted alone, wounding a handful of passersby, then taking her own life. Prior to the rampage, Aghdam posted hundreds of videos on YouTube, holding forth on subjects such as veganism, bodybuilding, and animal rights. According to police, she’d grown enraged with YouTube, which she said was intentionally limiting the reach of her work and her ability to profit from it. “We will come together and heal as a family,” Wojcicki wrote on Twitter.

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