If you so choose, you could open up YouTube right now and watch footage of journalist Alison Parker and videographer Adam Word being shot death four years ago while shooting an interview in southern Virginia.
Despite YouTube’s notoriously strict guidelines for what is allowed on its platform, and repeated requests from Parker’s father to remove it, the video exists, easily viewable.
Well, Andy Parker has decided to take action.
Parker filed a complaint Thursday with the Federal Trade Commission, according to The Washington Post, claiming YouTube violates its own terms of service by hosting supposed “prohibited” content. There is no specific law that prevents YouTube from hosting graphic or disturbing videos.
Parker’s goal? To “end the company’s blatant, unrepentant consumer deception.”
“We’re flagging the stuff,” Parker told The Post. “Nothing’s coming down. This is crazy. I cannot tolerate them profiting from my daughter’s murder, and that’s exactly what they do.”
But Parker’s complaint doesn’t just pertain to videos of his daughter’s murder, which was executed by one of her former colleagues. Rather, it’s about holding YouTube accountable for numerous clips that contain content some consider disturbing.
From the complaint:
“Videos of Alison’s murder are just a drop in the bucket. There are countless other videos on YouTube depicting individuals’ moments of death, advancing hoaxes and inciting harassment of the families of murder victims, or otherwise violating YouTube’s Terms of Service.”
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YouTube claims it has removed thousands of videos of Alison’s murder since 2015.
“Our Community Guidelines are designed to protect the YouTube community, including those affected by tragedies,” the company said in a statement, via The Post. “We specifically prohibit videos that aim to shock with violence, or accuse victims of public violent events of being part of a hoax. We rigorously enforce these policies using a combination of machine learning technology and human review. … We will continue to stay vigilant and improve our policy enforcement.”
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