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Father of Alison Parker, reporter killed during live TV broadcast, asks FTC to take action against Facebook

Roanoke, Va., TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were victims of one of the more notorious acts of violence in 2015
Roanoke, Va., TV reporter Alison Parker and c... 04:03

The family of a slain journalist is asking the Federal Trade Commission to take action against Facebook for failing to remove online footage of her shooting death.

Andy Parker says the company is violating its own terms of service in hosting videos on Facebook and its sibling service Instagram that glorify violence.

His daughter, TV news reporter Alison Parker, and cameraman Adam Ward were killed by a former co-worker while reporting for CBS Roanoke, Virginia's affiliate WDBJ-TV in August 2015. Video footage of the shooting — some of which was taken by the gunman — repeatedly resurfaces on Facebook and Instagram despite assurances from top executives that it will be removed, says a complaint being filed Tuesday by Parker and attorneys with the Georgetown Law Civil Rights Clinic.

"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.

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 content removed.

Facebook didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Andy Parker previously worked with the Georgetown law clinic to file a similar FTC complaint against Google and its YouTube service. The FTC doesn't typically disclose whether or not it has decided to investigate a complaint.

In 2019, Andy Parker wrote a book called "For Alison" to honor his daughter.

"I wanted people to know some history of Alison and her accomplishments and the little things that she did that people didn't know. I mean, the viewers around here saw her every day. They saw her smiling face, but there's a lot more there," Parker told WDBJ before the book's release. "I wanted people to know about the Emmy she won, the Edward R Murrow she won and the way she touched people. The stories that I heard after that fact that I never knew about. Little acts of kindness that she did and the mentoring that she did. There were quite a few of those stories that I wanted to share with the reader." 

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