Father of Killed Reporter Asks Regulators to Investigate Facebook

The daddy of a slain journalist urged federal regulators in a criticism filed Tuesday to make Fb change the way it polices content material, accusing it of failing to take away footage of his daughter’s killing from its platforms.

Andy Parker, the daddy of the journalist, Alison Parker, mentioned at a information convention on Tuesday that the social media firm was violating its personal phrases of service by internet hosting movies on Fb and Instagram that confirmed the assault on his daughter.

Ms. Parker, a TV information reporter for WDBJ in Roanoke, Va., and a cameraman, Adam Ward, have been killed in August 2015 by a former co-worker, who attacked them throughout a broadcast.

Ms. Parker, 24, and Mr. Ward, 27, have been pronounced lifeless on the scene. The previous co-worker later died by suicide.

Within the criticism, filed with the Federal Commerce Fee, Mr. Parker and Georgetown Regulation’s Civil Rights Clinic mentioned that, regardless of assurances from firm executives that footage of the assault could be eliminated, video of it continues to resurface on Fb and Instagram.

“Posting violent content material and homicide just isn’t free speech, it’s savagery,” Mr. Parker mentioned on the information convention.

In an announcement on Wednesday, Fb mentioned, “These movies violate our insurance policies and we’re persevering with to take away them from the platform as we’ve been doing since this disturbing incident first occurred.”

The corporate added, “We’re additionally persevering with to proactively detect and take away visually related movies when they’re uploaded.”

The criticism to the F.T.C. mentioned that Fb and Instagram don’t overview flagged or reported content material in a well timed method, which makes it onerous to remove broadly shared movies.

“Volunteers who spend important time monitoring social media platforms for violative content material usually should wait weeks after reporting content material earlier than any response from the platform; even after these efforts, movies usually stay on the location,” the criticism mentioned.

The criticism mentioned that volunteers had helped Mr. Parker report movies on Fb and Instagram, however that movies of the capturing have reappeared or continued.

Two such movies — initially posted on the day of the killings, six years in the past — have been reported on Fb as just lately as Oct. 6, the criticism mentioned. Two others, additionally posted in 2015, have been reported on Instagram on Oct. 5, 2021, and had but to be eliminated, it mentioned.

The legislation clinic requested that the F.T.C. make Fb change the way it screens content material or face lots of of thousands and thousands of {dollars} in fines.

A consultant for the F.T.C. couldn’t instantly be reached for touch upon Wednesday.

The criticism was filed as tech giants face rising stress from the federal government, whose scrutiny has just lately landed on Fb specifically. The F.T.C. filed a revised antitrust lawsuit in opposition to the corporate this 12 months, and this month, a whistle-blower spoke to Congress about firm analysis on the harms Instagram might do to youngsters and about Fb’s potential to police misinformation.

Final 12 months, Mr. Parker and the Georgetown Regulation clinic filed a criticism with the F.T.C. accusing YouTube, which is owned by Google, of deceiving shoppers by refusing to take down movies that violate its phrases of service.

“Alison’s homicide, shared on Fb, Instagram and YouTube, is simply one of many egregious practices which are undermining the material of our society,” Mr. Parker mentioned on Tuesday.

Mr. Parker additionally known as for Congress to control social media firms, saying, “I hope my F.T.C. criticism will get traction however in the end, Congress goes to have to repair social media earlier than it ruins our nation and the world.”

In an interview on Wednesday, he additionally linked his criticism to the testimony given by Frances Haugen, the Fb whistle-blower, concerning the firm’s potential to police content material that seems on its platforms.

“Her testimony maintains that social media firms have the A.I. and the flexibility to wash homicide and misinformation, stuff that they are saying they don’t enable on their platform, however they won’t take away it as a result of it impacts the underside line,” he mentioned. “They monetized Alison’s homicide.”