YouTube CEO and Employees Were Targets of Mass Shooting Threats, FBI Says
An Oregon man threatened to kill 100 YouTube employees and CEO Susan Wojcicki in a mass casualty shooting because he believed the platform was “shadow-banning,” or restricting the visibility of, his YouTube channel.
William Gregory Douglas, 35, was arrested by FBI agents on Thursday outside of a convenience store in Cave Junction, Ore., after making a series of online threats against YouTube workers beginning on August 23, federal officials said.
Using the alias LiamXmaiLRevolutionX, Douglas posted several threats on Twitter, according to a criminal complaint, saying, “I would kill the 100 YouTube employees,” “You want a bigger mass casualty aka shooting let’s see what I can do,” and “Return my channel you low life Sholes before someone else comes and shoots more of your employees.”
One tweet, which directly targeted Wojcicki, reads, “Susan I’m coming for you today #pray.”
Douglas also posted videos in which he ranted about the “Deep State” and said he had to go to Mountain View to “visit” people at YouTube, the California location where 700 workers are employed, officials said.
In April, a shooting at YouTube’s San Bruno, Calif., headquarters left four people wounded and a female suspect dead.
The shooter, identified by police as 39-year-old Nasim Najafi Aghdam, had a website on which she, like Douglas, accused YouTube of censoring her.
“YouTube filtered my channels to keep them from getting views!” she had written on the site, claiming YouTube used age restrictions on her channel “to reduce views and suppress and discourage me from making videos.”
Douglas will face charges of cyberstalking and transmission of threats in interstate commerce to injure another in court Monday before before a federal magistrate judge.