Father of slain Virginia journalist fights Google from Capitol Hill

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- The father of slain WDBJ reporter Alison Parker is taking on Google in addition to his fight against gun violence.

Alison Parker and her photographer, Adam Ward, were killed during a live broadcast in 2015. (Source: WDBJ7 via MGN)

Andy Parker spoke before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday afternoon during their hearing on “Google and Censorship through Search Engines.” Parker became an advocate against gun violence after Alison was killed while she was on the air, along with her photographer Adam Ward, in 2015. Four years later, he’s taking on tech companies to stop the video of her murder and conspiracy theories from circulating online.

Parker has not seen the video of his daughter’s death and said that the internet is a “landmine” for him as he tries to flag the videos without viewing them. He claims Google won’t flag or remove the videos because they “profit” from ads in searches.

Lawmakers also heard from Google Vice President Karan Bhalia, who spoke to Google’s mission to remain unpartisan and unbiased in his opening statement. Other tech companies in the past have faced criticism from lawmakers and the public for having an anti-conservative agenda online. Many of the videos reposted of the WDBJ shooting come from right-leaning users who are anti-gun control.

Parker says he has tried to work with Google on a mass removal but has been unable to move forward with the tech company. He hopes the involvement of Congress will set precedents for violent videos that target individual victims so that Google can be regulated. His critics in Congress and online, however, feel he’s asking for censorship.

“If people think showing murder on YouTube is censorship, then yeah, I guess that might be their interpretation of it,” He said in response. ”But it’s just human decency. That should not be on there. Harassment that incites violence should not be on there, and that’s what we’ve been subjected to.”

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