“You have less than a month to monetize (pay) or Madrid offices will BOOM. You are warned. “The threat and extortion came from a device located in Spain to the central YouTube account on Twitter, which notified the United States authorities, including the FBI, as CASO ABIERTO, the investigative and events channel of the Prensa Ibérica newspapers, has learned.
Investigators from Interpol Washington considered the threats credible and then sent an urgent briefing note to the Spanish police stating that “This individual represents a violent threat for Youtube installations “.
In fact, it would not be the first time that YouTube facilities suffered a criminal attack. On April 3, 2018, a woman named Nasim Aghdam entered the headquarters of Youtube in San Bruno, California, and shot three people, who were injured. Then he committed suicide. The woman accused the company of preventing her videos from gaining more followers.
The Central Cybercrime Unit of the National Police then opened an investigation to identify the owner and user of the profile of the social network Twitter.
With this precedent, the North American investigators took the threats arriving from Spain very seriously. More when in other subsequent messages the angry youtuber He insisted and announced that, if he was not paid what he claimed, he would go by taxi and armed to the Madrid headquarters of YouTube, located on two floors of the Torre Picasso building, in the Paseo de la Castellana in Madrid.
On another occasion, he even published an image of a pistol to give credibility to his messages. Spanish officials from Google, the company that owns YouTube, attended to the Central Cybercrime Unit, in Madrid, to declare. It could be a crime of threats and perhaps another of public disorder, committed by whoever falsely claims that a dangerous situation is going to occur.
At his parents’ house
A short time later, Spanish investigators located the person responsible for the threats. And they were surprised. It was about a catalan teenager that he lived with his parents in Barcelona. A middle-class family, a kid with no antecedents. The young man went with his father to the police headquarters in Madrid, where he explained that he preferred to testify before the judge.
The police investigation uncovered the motive for the threats. The boy He had a YouTube channel and was not satisfied with the money he was being paid for the followers he had gotten. Since 2018, the company had tightened the payment terms for content creators based on the page views or advertising they get. Some famous youtubers like The Rubius they then publicly complained about the change in the rules of the game.
On July 11, 2019, the police officers took him as an investigator in the presence of his father. The boy was released accused of a crime of threats and the Barcelona juvenile prosecutor’s office took over the case. Finally, the matter has been closed because it was not considered attributable to the young man.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.