Father of reporter killed on live TV slams YouTube, Google for bolstering conspiracy theories

Father of reporter killed on live TV slams YouTube, Google for bolstering conspiracy theories
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The father of a reporter who was shot and killed on live television penned an op-ed Wednesday tearing into YouTube and Google for bolstering conspiracy theories about his daughter’s death.

In an op-ed published in The Washington Post, Andy Parker claimed that pro-gun conspiracy theorists have used the video-sharing platform to spread conspiracies about the 2015 death of his daughter, Alison.

“Countless people have targeted me and my family online, claiming that Alison’s death was faked as part of some diabolical conspiracy to seize their guns,” Parker wrote. “They have taken the gruesome footage of my daughter’s murder, edited it into videos selling these lies and flooded YouTube with hate-filled diatribes maligning my family.”

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Parker’s daughter was killed in 2015 during a live television broadcast. He has since become a staunch gun control advocate.

Parker claimed in his op-ed that recommendation algorithms on YouTube and its parent company, Google, have “bolstered” conspiracy theories’ ability to spread vitriol about his daughter.

“You might think that losing a child in a televised, coldblooded murder is just about the worst thing a parent can experience,” he wrote. “But Google allowing footage of that horrific moment to be weaponized against my family has made our living nightmare so much worse.”

Parker said that in a search for Alison’s name on YouTube, he was led “down a rabbit hole of painful and despicable content, including claims that Alison had plastic surgery and was living a secret life in Israel.”

He accused Google of “monetizing” his daughter’s death and called on the tech giant to crack down on the content.

Parker added that he has tried to urge the companies to do so in the past, writing that his unsuccessful efforts have been “retraumatizing.”

“Google has placed the burden on people such as me to flag harmful videos and explain why they should be removed,” he writes. “This is a burden I simply cannot bear.”

YouTube has faced scrutiny for allowing videos that some say promote conspiracy theories. The platform removed 58 million videos between July and September because of violations of community guidelines.