In a rather strange incident, a man got arrested over the weekend for showing up at Google’ Mountain View, California headquarters to threaten violence because he believed that YouTube had deleted his account on the platform. We should mention that the man only had one video on his YouTube channel which talked about getting rich quickly.
According to a report in BuzzFeed, the 33-year-old Kyle Long came all the way to Google’s headquarters only to find out that later that the account was actually deleted by his wife. However, she didn’t know how Long would react to her doing this, so she told him that it was probably Google’s doing. What she didn’t know that Long would actually drive 3,300 miles from Maine to Google’s headquarters in California.
The man’s father, Kevin Long, said that the video was ‘rambling’ and ‘bizzare’. He also revealed that Long has a history of mental illness and has had multiple run-ins with the police. All of this, according to Long’s father, traces back to an incident in his teens when a drunk driving accident took the life of a close friend.
Speaking to BuzzFeed, Kevin said, “He came up with this crazy idea to make everyone millionaires. She (his wife) told him Google or Facebook must have taken it down because you can’t put stupid shit on there.” He also added that Long thought that his video was the answer to world’s problems.
We should add here that most companies like Facebook and Google have algorithms coupled with a set of policies that change time to time. If the content posted on their platform does not abide by these, it is removed automatically because of these. In most cases, company employees are not involved in this process at all. However, there are times when people feel that they have been wronged personally by the company. Long’s case is also a similar one. However, it is worth noticing that this is the second high-profile case that has happened in less than a year in which a person has actually shown up at the company to threaten violence.
To recall, in April 2018, Nasim Aghdam, who is a 39-year old resident of San Diego, showed up at YouTube‘s San Bruno headquarters and opened fire. She said that YouTube had unfairly demonetized and censored her videos that spoke about being pro-vegan and animal rights. Aghdam ended up injuring three people before she killed herself too.
Although Long didn’t carry any firearms with him, he did have three baseball bats in his car. According to police in Mountain View, Long had “made general threats of violence towards unknown people if the meeting regarding his YouTube channel didn’t go as he wanted it to.”
Speaking more about his son’s behaviour, Kevin Long said, “All he wanted was to get it back online. Something is wrong with him.”
We can only say that although it is great to be active on platforms like YouTube, one must also read through the guidelines and algorithms to know what all is allowed and what is not. A technology company wouldn’t have anything against a particular person, but is their algorithm doesn’t approve of the content you have uploaded, it will be taken down.