In 2015, journalist Alison Parker was one of the victims of a live TV shooting in Virginia, according to CNET, amedia outlet. And now her father and Georgetown Law are suing YouTube for not deleting the murder video. The complaint, filed Thursday with the Federal Trade Commission, accuses YouTube of violating its terms of service by allowing videos showing violent killings and conspiracy theories to circulate online.
Alison Parker was shot and killed by a gunman while working as a journalist for WDBJ, Va. Photojournalist Adam Ward was also killed in the incident.
Civil Rights Clinic and Andy Parker, of Georgetown Law, said: “There are now countless videos on YouTube about Alison’s murder. The videos promote Alison’s murder as a result of morbid entertainment and often promote conspiracy theories about Alison’s death, which has troubled her father, a outspoken anti-gun violence activist. “
Parker claims that every time he asks the platform to delete the video, he receives “false promises and outright lies” from YouTube. “YouTube refuses to take action because of the benefits of video traffic,” he said. The complaint also notes that conspiracy theories videos have troubled the parents of children murdered in Sandy Hook, and that videos of teen suicides and murders have also hurt the parents of the victims.
“Under the FTC Act, YouTube has an obligation not to deceive its users, including parents who believe their children are protected from watching violent content,” said Aderson Francois, director of Civil Rights Clinic.
In response, YouTube said it specifically banned “videos designed to shock or accuse victims of public violence of scams.”
“We have used machine learning techniques and manual review to strictly enforce these policies, and over the past few years we have removed thousands of copies of the video because they violate our policies,” a YouTube spokesman said in an emailed statement. We will continue to remain vigilant and improve our policy implementation. “