On August 26, 2015, TV news reporter Alison Parker was murdered on live TV by a disgruntled and mentally ill former co-worker, who filmed the execution of Parker and camera man Adam Ward. Initial controversy surrounded the media’s use of so called “point-of-death” pictures and video of the execution, with some outlets using the content as front-page news or as “teaser” clips and other media outlets refusing to use the footage or photos at all.
Ultimately, the photos and video of Alison’s murder were broadcast globally by news outlets, including CNN which showed the clip every hour during the day of the murder and both Facebook and Twitter which pushed the video through their news “opt-in” feature, showing the video without warning to millions of users.
In response to the death of his daughter, Andy Parker dedicated himself to keeping guns out of the hands of mentally unstable people. His advocacy however brought him to the attention of conspiracy theorists who claimed that the murder of his daughter was staged to gain sympathy for an anti-gun agenda. The video of his daughter’s murder and still photos of the death were altered, edited, and defaced and shared thousands of times through internet platforms and social media. He and his family have been attacked, maligned, and threatened by conspiracy theorists and hate groups. Yet despite Andy’s pleas and appeals to internet service providers and social media to remove the pictures and videos, as well as the harassment and threats focused on his family, he was largely ignored.
Andy joined the board of the HONR Network to hold internet service providers and social media accountable for the monetization of hate content and the failure to adhere to their own terms of service which expressly forbids illegal activity including harassment, defamation, and slander.
Currently Andy is working with the Georgetown University Civil Rights Law Clinic to urge Google to become more proactive in policing it’s content and protecting victimized people. More Information.
His book: For Alison: The Murder of a Young Journalist and a Father’s Fight for Gun Safety was released March 5, 2019
For Alison – A non-profit sponsoring art opportunities and scholarships in Alison Parker’s name.