The father of a slain journalist urged federal regulators in a lawsuit filed Tuesday asking Facebook to change the way it checks content, alleging it failed to remove footage of his daughter’s murder. he from his foundations.
Andy Parker, the journalist’s father, Alison Parker, said at a press conference Tuesday that the social media company violated its own terms of service by hosting videos on Facebook and Instagram for saw the attack on your daughter.
Parker, a WDBJ television news reporter in Roanoke, Va., and a cameraman, Adam Ward, were killed in August 2015 by a former colleague who assaulted them during a broadcast wave.
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 the Georgetown Law Civil Rights Clinic said that, despite assurances from company executives that footage of the attack would be removed, Video of the attack continues to appear on Facebook and Instagram.
“Posting violent and murderous content is not freedom of expression, it’s barbarism,” Parker said at the press 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 have been since this disturbing incident occurred. first time”.
The company added, “We are also continuing to proactively detect and remove similar videos of images as they are uploaded.”
The complaint to the FTC says that Facebook and Instagram do not review flagged or reported content in a timely manner, which makes it difficult to remove widely shared videos.
“Volunteers who spend significant time monitoring social media platforms for infringing content often have to wait weeks after reporting content before any response from the platform; Even after these efforts, the videos often remain on the site,” the complaint said.
The complaint says that volunteers helped Parker report the videos on Facebook and Instagram, but videos of the shooting have reappeared or persisted.
Two such videos – originally posted on the day of the murder, six years ago – were reported on Facebook most recently on October 6, the lawsuit said. Two others, also posted in 2015, were reported on Instagram on October 5, 2021 and have yet to be deleted, it said.
The law clinic has asked the FTC to ask Facebook to change the way it monitors content or face hundreds of millions of dollars in fines.
A representative for the FTC could not be reached immediately for comment on Wednesday.
The lawsuit was filed as the tech giants face growing pressure from the government, whose oversight has recently landed on Facebook in particular. The FTC filed a revised antitrust lawsuit against the company this year, and this month a whistleblower told Congress about the company’s research into the harm Instagram could do to people. with teenagers and about Facebook’s ability to police misinformation.
Last year, Mr. Parker and the Georgetown Law clinic filed a lawsuit with the FTC alleging that YouTube, a company owned by Google, deceived consumers by refusing to take down videos that violated its terms of service.
“Alison’s murder, shared on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, is just one of a number of egregious acts that are undermining the fabric of our society,” Parker said Tuesday.
Mr. Parker also called on Congress to regulate social media companies, saying, “I hope my FTC complaint will be heard but ultimately Congress will have to fix social media first. when it destroys our country and the world.”
In an interview Wednesday, he also linked his complaint to the testimony of Frances Haugen, Facebook’s accuser, about the possibility of content police appearing on the company’s platform.
“Her testimony asserts that social media companies have AI and the ability to filter out misinformation and murder, things they say they don’t allow on their platforms, but they won’t. delete it because it affects the bottom line,” he said. “They make money off Alison’s murder.”