The mainstream media expressed shock this past week at the shooting at YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, California, just south of San Francisco. Thankfully, mass shootings are rare in Silicon Valley. Early reports were that the shooting was the result of a domestic dispute.
By the 11 p.m. news cycle, reports were that the shooter was merely “upset with the company.” I immediately contacted a colleague of mine, Jeff Werner, a YouTube Partner and wrote:
“I am not surprised by YouTube rage-filled shooting today. YouTube bears some responsibility for the rage they induce in their partners with their behaviors. That, and the fact they isolate themselves from their partners and their needs.”
“Agreed Dave. Julie (Jeff’s wife) heard of all the chaos and called me immediately saying she wondered if the shooter was a “Partner” financially beat up like us by their “new algorithm.” YouTube are Evil Thieves and did the same thing to many of us from what I have heard. They are an ugly beast.”
YouTube acted shocked that anyone would want to cause them harm. This is how badly YouTube is breathing their own exhaust.
The “new algorithm” is code for “we decide who gets the views and the revenue and we can crush your revenue whenever we want.” That’s what happened to the shooter’s business. And, Jeff, and so many more. Here is Jeff’s story that he shared on Facebook this past week.
I don’t condone the violence of the shooter. Yet, if you are a YouTube partner whose soul has been crushed by YouTube, it’s not impossible to believe this woman felt that her business had been killed by the evil beast.
YouTube is owned by Google. Google’s motto is (or used to be) “don’t be evil.” I wrote a blog post of FastCompany.com called Hey Google Support Forums–Don’t Be Evil in 2012. Google’s mistreatment of Partners isn’t a recent phenomena.
For too many partners, YouTube is failing them and crushing their souls. What needs to happen now?
Google and YouTube need to launch an internal investigation to determine how it’s policies are crushing the souls of too many of its partners and how this fact led to the very unfortunate shooting and suicide this past week. YouTube needs to bring in outside experts to facilitate this investigation. YouTube leadership needs to determine what remedies are appropriate so as to not act in such a draconian fashion.
Thought for the week:
“Grant me courage to serve others; for in service there is true life.” – Cesar Chavez
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Dave Gardner is a management consultant, speaker, blogger and author based in Silicon Valley. He's been in the front row for the birth and evolution of Silicon Valley, the innovation capital of the world. Since 1992, Dave Gardner has focused on making the complex simple around people, process and technology. He can be reached through his website, www.DaveGardner.biz, or via phone at +1 408-475-7068.