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Here Is All The Fake Information Going Around About The YouTube Shooting

The shooter, identified as Nasim Aghdam, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound after injuring several others on the YouTube campus in San Bruno, California.

Originally posted on
Updated on

Police responded to an active shooter situation at YouTube's headquarters in San Bruno, California, on Tuesday. Within minutes of the initial reports, before any official information emerged, hoaxes and fake news started being shared on social media.

At least three people were injured and police later identified the suspect as Nasim Najafi Aghdam, 39, who died from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

So far, very little is known about Aghdam. On her personal website and social media accounts, she frequently posted about animals rights and veganism, and alleged that Google and YouTube were discriminating against her.

Authorities did not speculate about a possible motive, but that didn't stop the internet from unleashing a flurry of fake news.

Here's a look at what hit online:

7. YouTuber Matt Jarbo shared screengrabs of tweets falsely identifying him as the shooter.

Sigh. Here we go. Obviously I'm not the shooter. #youtubeshooting

10. There was no second shooter.

AMTV / YouTube / Via

Some local media outlets initially reported that police were looking for two shooters, based on police radio chatter. These transmissions are a raw, unfiltered stream of information during the chaotic first stages of an investigation, and are not a trustworthy source.

Some commentators have seized on those early reports, and subsequent corrections, as evidence of mainstream media hiding the truth. However, it's very common for claims of a second suspect in active shooter situations, and it almost always turns out to be wrong.

12. Lucian B. Wintrich, a writer for the right-wing Gateway Pundit blog, appeared to suggest the shooter was a Muslim woman based on a local ABC station's report that the suspect was a woman wearing a "headscarf."


There have been no official images or descriptions of what Aghdam was wearing at the time, and her religious beliefs are still unknown.

13. The anti-Muslim website Jihad Watch also used the "headscarf" claim to speculate about a possible "jihad attack." Again, there's no official confirmation of Aghdam's clothing during the attack or of her religious affiliation.

Ishmael Daro is a social news editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Toronto.

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at

Jane Lytvynenko is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada. PGP fingerprint: A088 89E6 2500 AD3C 8081 BAFB 23BA 21F3 81E0 101C.

Contact Jane Lytvynenko at

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