Story at a glance

  • The family of slain journalist Alison Parker has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against Facebook.
  • The complaint alleges Facebook fails to remove graphic content, including footage of Parker’s killing, from the social media network.
  • Parker, who was a TV reporter, and cameraman Adam Ward were shot and killed on air by a disgruntled former co-worker while reporting for WDBJ-TV in August 2015.

The family of slain journalist Alison Parker has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against Facebook for failing to remove footage of her killing from the social media network.

“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 reads.

Parker, who was a TV reporter, and cameraman Adam Ward were shot and killed on-air while reporting for WDBJ-TV in August 2015 in Roanoke, Va., by a disgruntled former co-worker who ambushed them.


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The complaint says that despite repeated assurances from executives who head the social media giant, and its sibling company Instagram, footage of the shooting continues to reappear on the sites.

“These videos glorify Alison’s murder for sick entertainment, and often promote conspiracy theories about Alison’s death that encourage harassment of her father, an outspoken activist against gun violence,” Aderson Francois, director of Georgetown Law’s Civil Rights Clinic, which is representing the Parker family, said in a press release.

“As with Google, imploring Facebook to remove videos of my daughter’s murder in accordance with its own rules, the only responses I’ve received are empty promises,” Parker’s father, Andy, said. “It’s clear both the FTC and Congress must act to rein in Facebook’s outrageous behavior and hold the company legally accountable.”

Facebook has not responded to Changing America’s request for comment at this time.


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Published on Oct 12, 2021