YouTube says that it will improve its security at its worksites after a gunman shot three others and herself — but that’s going to be a tough task on Silicon Valley’s giant, open campuses.
The video company said that Nasim Aghdam, who authorities have identified as the killer, was able to enter the San Bruno campus through its parking garage and then access YouTube’s outside courtyard. She did not enter the actual corporate building.
The company is committing itself to better protect its employees.
“We are revisiting this incident in detail and will be increasing the security we have at all of our offices worldwide to make them more secure not only in the near term, but long-term” YouTube said in a statement late Wednesday.
The company and its parent Google did not respond to requests for details on what security precautions were taken Wednesday to secure their campuses.
The problem, though, is that these campuses are generally designed to be fun, welcoming places more reminiscent of an open college campus than a secured facility. Buildings are spread out and interlopers can wander between them with little notice. Visitors aren’t uncommon, and some are even implicitly welcomed with tourist-friendly photo spots like Facebook’s welcome sign featuring a ‘Like’ button or Google’s Android statuettes.
There’s likely to be a new debate in Silicon Valley about how these campuses are protected — much like we saw a debate over public spaces such as movie theaters after the shooting in Aurora in 2012 and a debate over schools after deadly incidents at Sandy Hook and more recently in Parkland.
Police say that they believe Aghdam parked her car near a neighboring business and then walked over, Smith and Wesson semi-automatic handgun in tow.
Authorities believe that Aghdam was frustrated by YouTube’s policies, including a recent push toward what she felt were algorithm changes that made it difficult for her to monetize her content on the platform. In one post, she called YouTube a “dictatorship.”