Slain Journalist's Father Asks FTC to Punish Facebook For Hosting Murder Video

The father of a journalist who was killed on live TV is asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to take action against Facebook for failing to remove online footage of his daughter's death.

Andy Parker, whose daughter Alison Parker was shot and killed while reporting in 2015, alleged in a complaint that Facebook is violating its own terms of service by hosting videos on its platform and on Instagram that promote violence, The Associated Press reported.

Murders of Alison Parker and Adam Ward

News reporter Alison and photojournalist Adam Ward, both employees of CBS affiliate WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia, were fatally shot while conducting a live television interview near Smith Mountain Lake in Moneta. They were interviewing Vicki Gardner, executive director of the local chamber of commerce, when all three were attacked by a gunman. Alison and Ward died at the scene, while Gardner survived.

Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward
Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward of WDBJ-TV were fatally shot during a live interview, Wednesday, August 26, 2015, in Moneta, Virginia. Twitter

The gunman was Vester Lee Flanagan II, a former reporter at WDBJ who had been fired in 2013 for disruptive conduct. After a five-hour manhunt, Flanagan shot himself during a car chase with police officers and died later at a hospital.

FB is Letting Users Upload Videos that Laud Violent Acts

Footage of the murders still resurfaces on Facebook and Instagram despite assurances from top Facebook executives that it will be removed, says a complaint filed Tuesday by Parker and attorneys with the Georgetown Law Civil Rights Clinic.

Andy Parker
Andy Parker Twitter

"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," says the complaint, obtained by ABC News.

The complaint says Facebook is engaging in deceptive trade practices by violating its own terms of service and misrepresenting the safety of the platform and how hard it is for users to get harmful and traumatic content removed, reported NBC News.

Andy Parker said during a press conference announcing the FTC complaint that he also wants to see congressional action, adding that he agrees with Facebook whistleblower and former Facebook employee Frances Haugen on the need to take away liability protections granted to Facebook and other online companies under a 1996 law, reported The Hill.

Parker previously filed a similar complaint with the FTC over Google and YouTube.

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