Oct 12, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Slain reporter's family asks FTC to take on Facebook over violent video

Andy Parker speaking at a rally
Andy Parker, father of Alison, speaking at a rally. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The family of slain journalist Alison Parker, who died in 2015, is asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to take action against Facebook for not removing a video of her death, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: Facebook has faced mounting widespread scrutiny in recent weeks from lawmakers and the public, initially spurred by whistleblower accounts by former employee Frances Haugen.

Context: In 2015, Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were murdered by a former co-worker while reporting for WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Virginia, per AP.

Details: The complaint says Facebook engages in deceptive trade practices by misinforming users about the safety of the platform and violating its own terms of service by failing to remove violent content.

  • “The reality is that Facebook and Instagram put the onus on victims and their families to do the policing of graphic content — requiring them to relive their worst moments over and over to curb the proliferation of these videos,” the complaint says, according to AP.
  • The family also claims the tech giant failed to remove user-reported videos.

What they're saying: “Alison’s murder, shared on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, is just one of the egregious practices that are undermining the fabric of our society,” Alison's father Alan Parker said, according to AP.

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