In August 2015, Alison Parker (a reporter),25 was killed live on international television. That video was clipped, published and seen all across the internet over the years including thousands of times on YouTube alone which is viewed in many shades as wrong.
Parker’s daughter, Alison Parker, was killed by a former co-worker during a live broadcast when she was working for CBS affiliate WDBJ in Virginia. The shooter filmed the killing and posted it to YouTube before killing himself.
Andy Parker filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission(FTC) against Google and YouTube Thursday, alleging that the video streaming service violates its Terms of Service by keeping graphic videos and content that promotes conspiracy theories online.
“We rigorously enforce these policies using a combination of machine learning technology and human review and over the last few years, we’ve removed thousands of copies of this video for violating our policies,” a spokesperson for YouTube told the technology-news online magazine. “We will continue to stay vigilant and improve our policy enforcement.”
For years, Parker has had to deal with conspiracists sharing videos of his daughter’s death. “These videos have been edited in numerous ways—in almost every case to increase their shock value,” Parker’s complaint reads, according to The Verge. “Moreover, the users who perpetuate this type of entertainment continue to harass Mr. Parker by discounting his suffering as fake.”
Alison Parker was murdered along with cameraman Andy Ward by a former co-worker, Vester Lee Flanagan in 2015. Though clips of the footage go directly against YouTube’s guidelines, plenty of clips are still on YouTube.
In order to moderate its platform, YouTube requires users to flag content, record time stamps, and describe the violence within the offending videos. In the complaint, Parker describes how his friends and family are forced to relive one of the worst days of their lives over and over again by searching for and flagging these videos individually so YouTube will remove them.
The complaint is how friends and family had to watch the videos of Alison’s death repeatedly, and flag them for removal. “Mr. Parker and his family have had only one tool available to defend themselves from such traumatic vitrioll,” it reads, “and the nightmare of seeing their daughter’s death: watch these videos one-by-one in order to report them.”
Andy Parker has ever since been vocal since his daughter’s death in criticizing YouTube and Google. He wrote an op-ed published last March in The Washington Post claiming the platform’s algorithms allow conspiracy theories about his daughter’s death to spread.