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Father of Killed Reporter Asks Regulators to Investigate Facebook

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The daddy of a slain journalist urged federal regulators in a grievance 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, stated at a news conference 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 grievance, filed with the Federal Commerce Fee, Mr. Parker and Georgetown Legislation’s Civil Rights Clinic stated 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.

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

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

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

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The grievance to the F.T.C. stated that Fb and Instagram don’t overview flagged or reported content material in a well timed method, which makes it arduous 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 grievance stated.

The grievance stated that volunteers had helped Mr. Parker report movies on Fb and Instagram, however that movies of the taking pictures have reappeared or endured.

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

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

An F.T.C. spokeswoman, Juliana Gruenwald Henderson, stated in an e-mail that the company’s officers “take these complaints very critically.” She declined to touch upon Mr. Parker’s grievance, saying that “the existence of any investigation is nonpublic data.”

The grievance was filed as tech giants face rising strain from the federal government, whose scrutiny has lately landed on Fb particularly. The F.T.C. filed a revised antitrust lawsuit towards the corporate this yr, and this month, a whistle-blower spoke to Congress about firm analysis on the harms Instagram might do to youngsters and about Fb’s skill to police misinformation.

Final yr, Mr. Parker and the Georgetown Legislation clinic filed a complaint 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 stated on Tuesday.

Mr. Parker additionally referred to as for Congress to control social media firms, saying, “I hope my F.T.C. grievance will get traction however finally, 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 grievance to the testimony given by Frances Haugen, the Fb whistle-blower, in regards to the firm’s skill 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 stated. “They monetized Alison’s homicide.”

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