AND Parker will never forget the morning of August 26, 2015, pacing through his Virginia home. His daughter’s boyfriend, Alison – the fierce reporters of the Roanoke television station WDBJ, could not catch a young journalist.
Mr Parker repeatedly tried to contact his daughter on her cell phone to no avail. Then he and his wife, Barbara, had a terrible call: Alison was dead. She has been murdered. Her age is just 24.
Her parents collapsed on the floor of her home.
Since then, Mr. Parker has picked himself up – mourning and proceeding to action by killing his daughter, a former colleague shot in cold blood. A retired headhunter is a dedicated advocate for gun control. And now they’re taking on big players on social media.
“The way I respect her – through action,” she said Independent.
Miss Parker and her cameraman, Adam Ward, were ambushed by the comedy day when they were interviewing a local official about the lake’s 50th anniversary. A disgruntled former colleague, Wester Lee Flanagan II – who had been fired two years before for disruptive behavior – walked up to them, shot the entire thing from his point of view, and shot down the reporter and Mr Ward, 27.
He uploaded the footage to social media before chasing the car and ending his life. Those clips – taken with the killer’s phone, holding a firearm in his hand as he steps into the threesome – continue to circulate on platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.
Mr Parker and his lawyers filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday, asking for action against Facebook and Instagram for failing to remove footage of Mr Parker’s daughter’s murder. Videos have repeatedly glorified platforming and violence – but they have remained intact.
On Wednesday, the next day after the FTC filed a complaint, the specific links mentioned were available and viewed on Facebook and Instagram Independent.
The father of a young reporter who failed to remove the tragedy from his platforms has already filed FTC complaints against Google and YouTube.
“As long as someone makes them accountable, and it should be Congress, these things will continue to happen,” Mr Parker said Independent. “I had no idea these forums were making money from the murder of my daughter.
He continued: “They make me gag that they have the ability to remove stuff, but they don’t – because they make money from it. And to me, it’s reckless … if you know it exists, it will rethink you. This cloud is hovering over you.
“I’m trying to find the right metaphor here, but it stays with you – and it haunts you. Until they do something about it, it’s always there. It’s almost like a chronic disease.”
Mr. Parker and his family, understandably, do not seek or watch videos of themselves distraught; Other lawyers do it for them and file complaints with the forums.
One of them is Eric Feinberg, vice president of Allied Content Moderation for the Safe Web. He sent several links to the Georgetown Law Civil Rights clinic, which helped Parker to file a complaint Tuesday.
Those links specifically mentioned in the complaint were up until Wednesday and were viewed Independent – Despite assurances from Facebook, it is doing everything it can to remove violent scenes of murders and similar crimes.
“These videos violate our policies and we continue to remove them from the platform as we have done since this disturbing event,” a Facebook spokeswoman said Independent. “We will continue to detect and remove such videos when they are uploaded.”
A day after the FTC filed an inquiry into why the complaint-cited videos remained, he did not immediately respond.
The Parker family, and Mr. Feinberg, had plenty to say.
“It’s an ad-supported platform,” Mr Feinberg said Independent, Adding: “Name any other medium that advertisers can match it with.
“It can happen to anyone. See what Andy has to face. He doesn’t care.”
According to Peter Roemer-Friedman, a lawyer who has brought several cases against Facebook, he told the AP that the FTC has “broad authority to investigate and prosecute fraudulent practices.”
But that does not mean the FTC There is To investigate. The body can legally ignore complaints filed by non-government parties, Eric Goldman, a law professor at the University of Santa Clara, told the AP – for that reason, many complaints are “usually only for show.”
Mr Parker said, exhausted but resolved Independent On Wednesday, they expected additional pressure on Facebook – devastating weekend revelations from whistleblower Francis Haugen – prompting the company and other social media giants to be more cautious.
He said he was grateful for the whistle blower “Everything I’ve done in the last five years has been valid – and it’s critical.”
We thought “this is the time to do it” – and perhaps between her [Haugen’s] Attempts and mine, we are drawing the attention of the FTC ”and“ Congress is pushing to do something, ”he said.
“The reality is, they need to address it now – because Facebook and YouTube, for all the good they do … they are contributing to dismantling the structure of society in this country and in the world.
“If not now, when?”
He said he was “not surprised” that there would be videos on Facebook and Instagram on Wednesday because “they’ve been lying for five years.”
He said: “They have lied again. It should attract the attention of somebody in Congress. This should attract the attention of the FTC.
Through it all, however, the Parker family and their extended network want to make sure their daughter and her legacy are not forgotten. Mr. Parker has written the book. His wife started a foundation in the name of young reporters. Her boyfriend Chris Hurst – who first told MS Parker parents of the shooting news – now represents the 12th District at the Virginia House of Delegates. Her cameraman Mr. Ward’s family has set up a scholarship in her name.
Mr Parker has a picture of his daughter on her phone and is wearing an “Alison Forever” wrist band.
“She’s always with me,” she said Independent.
“She inspired me,” Mr Parker said, noting the stance of lawyers he took up after the murder of his daughter. “I feel like I’m following in my daughter’s footsteps.”
She added: “What you see on TV is who she is. She can come in and light the room.”
Their efforts include not only expanding gun control, better social media protection, and remembering their daughter; They are helping other families avoid pain, he said.
“We have a hole in our soul that will never heal … you will never get rid of it; it is always a melancholy thing.”
That is why his effort to curb gun availability and social media violent content “is to try to protect other children and families through the destruction that Barbara and I have suffered.”
Removing stuff like murder pieces would go a long way to doing that, he said.
“We want people to remember the way Alison lived and she wasn’t the dead kind,” she said Independent.