, the newly announced Virginia congressional candidate whose daughter was a reporter who was shot and killed on live TV, says one big reason he’s running for office is to reform Section 230, a law that protects social media companies from lawsuits over content on their platforms.
Since his daughter Alison and her cameraman Adam Ward were shot and killed by an ex-coworker in 2015, Parker has struggled unsuccessfully to purge social media of the video of their shooting. Although he has filed multiple Federal Trade Commission complaints with Google and Facebook in the ensuing years, he has received no response.
“I’ve decided I’ve got to do it from the inside. As a congressman, I want to be able to ask the FTC why they haven’t responded — I want to enact change to reform section 230,” he told CBS News’ “Red & Blue” Monday. “And I’m not doing this just for me. There are other people. I happen to be one of the more visible people, but there are plenty of people out there that have been harmed.”
He said that since his campaign announcement earlier this month, people have been reaching out about content on social media websites.
“Families want to protect their kids from graphic violence, from pornography, from abuse and harassment and misinformation that’s tearing our country apart, and it’s got to stop,” he said.
Parker is challenging Republican incumbent Bob Good, a hardline conservative freshman representing Virginia’s 5th District, whom Parker called a “clown” and “Marjorie Taylor Greene-wannabe.”
“He’s still claimed that COVID is a hoax even though at least 1,500 people in the district have died,” Parker said, and said he had created an “atmosphere” that encouraged a woman to threaten bringing guns to a Virginia school board meeting over their mask mandates.
“He’s creating this dangerous climate and he’s got to go, and I think there are enough people in the district that are going to say, ‘Yeah, you know what, I may not be able to vote for a Democrat, I might just vote for Andy Parker or sit this one out,’ which would be the same thing,” he added.
While he has fought for “common-sense measures” to address gun violence since his daughter’s death, Parker said his personal safety isn’t something he thinks much about, even after the election officials and .and rising threats to
“Nothing’s worse than losing a child. And so, my own personal safety, I don’t really think about it,” he said. “People have been very generous and kind, and I have continually said that I support the Second Amendment. They’re gonna say, ‘Well that Parker is a gun grabber,’ and that’s just not the case.”