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My daughter was slain in front of my eyes. This is why the video was turned into an NFT.

In 2015, my daughter, journalist Alison Parker, and her cameraman, Adam Ward, were murdered on live television while reporting on a story for the local news station where they worked. A disgruntled former employee of the station, WDBJ7, was the assassin.

The killer’s GoPro, as well as Adam’s live camera feed to the station, captured film of their murder. That heinous stuff, which I managed to avoid watching, has been shared hundreds of times on Facebook and YouTube and watched by millions – some willingly, some unwittingly. Knowing it’s out there is awful for me and my family, and seeing it is traumatic for everyone who has seen it.

Worse yet, these platforms benefit off the murder of my daughter. I’ve known it for years, and Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen confirmed it in her testimony to Congress last fall.

This should never happen to anyone. They should also be protected against other graphic content, harassment and bullying, pornography, and illicit gun and drug sales on the internet. Despite this, Facebook/Instagram and Google/YouTube enjoy complete protection for the content they post because to Section 230, a 1996 provision approved by Congress. Even my objections to the Federal Trade Commission, alleging that these platforms are breaking their own terms of service, have gone unanswered. Because they can, Facebook and Google do what they do.

There is, however, one exception. My Georgetown Civil Rights Law Clinic legal team and I decided that the “Al Capone prosecution method” would be the best way to penalise these platforms. You nail them on the lesser stuff if you can’t get them on the big stuff. It’s a copyright infringement in this case.

We spent the last two years pleading with Gray Television, the media corporation that purchased WDBJ7 and the rights to Alison’s murder film, to grant us a co-copyright so that we could proceed with our legal approach. They have bluntly refused, citing reasons that they have yet to reveal to us or the general public. They have been complicit in shielding Facebook and Google rather than doing the right and decent thing.

We had no choice but to construct an NFT, or Non Fungible Token, in the absence of a copyright — not to sell, as some have done with art and music, but to utilise as a substitute for a copyright against these platforms. Because the murder image is beyond our family’s control, an extreme and innovative method is required.

It’s the Hail Mary prayer. We’re in new territory, and the chances of this unique strategy succeeding are minimal. But, as Gray, Facebook, and Google are well aware, I am not willing to give up.

In the end, legislation is required to effect change. That is why I chose to run for Congress, so that I can bring this conflict to a conclusion. For all of the good things social media has done for society, it has also exposed everyone to awful content, pornography, illegal gun and drug sales, bullying and harassment — and, of course, disinformation and dangerous conspiracy theories. I’m fighting not just for me, but for the thousands of other families who have suffered in the same way as me, as well as those who will be attacked in the future.

Fixing the internet isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue; it’s a problem that affects every civilised society on the planet. We will lose our social fabric if we do not address social media.

I’ve tried to commemorate Alison by taking action, and I’m confident that we’ll win in the end. This is exactly what Alison would expect of me. Typically, candidates for Congress do not have running mates. But I do, and she’ll accompany me on my journey.

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This article is just for educational purposes.

Make your own exploration before making any form of investment, as always.

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