Dad of Shanann Watts makes plea after harassment, trolling following murders


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — It’s been close to a year since the murder of Shanann Watts, her two daughters and her unborn son.

The Moore County native was killed by her husband Chris Watts. It was a story that made headlines nationwide.

Her father, Frank Rzucek, says the family hasn’t been able to grieve, thanks to trolls and crooks.

“Get on with your life. Leave ours alone,” he said.

People are apparently starting fake social media accounts and posting insults and lies about Shanann.

“Every time we turn around there’s someone trying to capitalize on our tragedy,” Rzucek said. “Making money off my daughter’s death is ridiculous.”

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Rzucek says they’ve tried reaching out to the social media companies to do something about the attacks, but they haven’t had much luck.

“To take responsibility for your platforms and stop this despicable conduct,” Rzuzek said. “We have contacted you many times, reported this abuse, but no avail.”

YouTube says, in total, it has removed 10,623 channels and 47,443 videos for harassment in the first quarter of 2019.

“Our hearts go out to the families who have suffered tragic losses due to violent events. We rigorously enforce our policies that prohibit harassment, including removing videos that target victims of violent events or their families and claim these events were ‘hoaxes’ or didn’t happen, when flagged by our users.”

YouTube statement

Rzucek said he wants lawmakers to step up.

“Facebook, YouTube, Twitter — we’ve contacted you many times to report this abuse but to no avail,” he said. “I’m calling on you — stop this despicable conduct. We urge you to please stop.”

The family also says they’ve received threats because of those posts about the Watts family.

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