The father of a slain journalist urged federal regulators to change the way Facebook handles its content in a complaint filed on Tuesday, alleging it was trying to remove footage of his daughter’s murder from its platform. has failed.
Andy Parker, father of journalist Alison Parker, said news conference On Tuesday, the social media company was violating its terms of service by hosting videos on Facebook and Instagram that featured an attack on his daughter.
Ms. Parker, a TV news reporter for WDBJ in Roanoke, Va., and Adam Ward, a cameraman, were murdered in August 2015 by a former co-worker who attacked them during the broadcast.
Ms Parker, 24, and Mr Ward, 27, were pronounced dead at the scene. The former colleague later died by suicide.
In a complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission, Mr Parker and Georgetown Law’s Civil Rights Clinic said that, despite assurances from company officials that footage of the attack would be removed, video of it continued to resurface on Facebook and Instagram.
“Posting violent content and murder is not freedom of expression, it is vandalism,” Mr Parker said at the news conference.
In a statement on Wednesday, Facebook said, “These videos violate our policies and we are continuing to remove them from the platform as we are doing for the first time since this disturbing incident.”
“We are continuing to detect and remove potentially identical videos when uploaded,” the company said.
The complaint filed with the FTC states that Facebook and Instagram do not review flagged or reported content in a timely manner, which makes it difficult to eliminate widely shared videos.
“Volunteers who spend a significant amount of time monitoring social media platforms for infringing content often have to wait weeks after reporting the content before any response from the platform; Even after these efforts, videos often remain on the site,” the complaint states.
The complaint said volunteers had helped Mr Parker report the videos on Facebook and Instagram, but videos of the shootings reappeared or remained.
The complaint said two such videos – initially posted six years ago on the day of the murder – were recently reported on Facebook on October 6. Two others, which were also posted in 2015, were reported on Instagram on October 5, 2021, and were yet to be removed, it said.
The Law Clinic requested that the FTC change the way Facebook monitors content or face fines of hundreds of millions of dollars.
A representative for the FTC could not immediately be reached for comment on Wednesday.
The complaint was filed as the tech giant was facing mounting pressure from the government, whose investigation recently landed on Facebook. FTC filed Revised antitrust suit against the company This year, and this month, a whistleblower talked to Congress About company research Damage Instagram Can Do teen and about Facebook’s ability to provide police with false information.
Last year, Mr. Parker and Georgetown Law Clinic filed a complaint The FTC has accused YouTube, which is owned by Google, of defrauding consumers by refusing to remove videos that violate its terms of service.
“Allison’s murder, shared on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, is one of the sordid practices that undermine the fabric of our society,” Mr Parker said on Tuesday.
Mr. Parker also called on Congress to regulate social media companies, “I hope my FTC complaint gets traction but ultimately, Congress has to fix social media before it ruins our country and the world.”
In an interview on Wednesday, he also linked his complaint to the testimony given by Francis Haugen, facebook whistleblower, regarding the company’s ability to police the content that appears on its platform.
“Their testimony says that social media companies have AI and the ability to scout out murder and misinformation, which they say they don’t allow on their platform, but they won’t remove it because it hurts the bottom line.” affects,” he said. “They monetized the killing of Alison.”