New Law Requires Sex Offenders to Register Their Status on Facebook
New Orleans, LA- In Louisiana, lawmakers have taken a bold step which leaves a permanent mark on those who’ve been convicted of sexual crimes. A new law has passed, requiring sex offenders and child predators to list their criminal status on Facebook and other social media.
State Rep. Jeff Thompson, says that the law protects the public and falls within the domain of other laws that require sex offenders to register when moving into a neighborhood.
Facebook, Myspace and other social media sites have long been removing sex offenders, but Thompson believes that the new law will fill any existing gaps.
“I don’t want to leave in the hands of social network or Facebook administrators, ‘Gee, I hope someone is telling the truth,’” Thompson said. “This is another tool for prosecutors.”
The new law was signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal and adds onto other requirements of sex offenders, like the ones that require them to notify neighbors of their status and the school district in their area.
The law specifically states that offenders “shall include in his profile for the networking website an indication that he is a sex offender or child predator and shall include notice of the crime for which he was convicted, the jurisdiction of conviction, a description of his physical characteristics and his residential address.”
Other states currently require sex offenders to register their e-mail accounts, Internet addresses and profile names, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Some states, such as Illinois and Texas, disallow them from participating in any form of social networking at all.
“It provides the same notice to persons in whose home you are injecting yourself via the Internet,” Thompson said. “I challenge you today to walk down the street to see how many people and children are checking Pinterest, Instagram and other social networking sites. If you look at how common it is, that’s 24 hour a day, seven days a week for somebody to interact with your children and your grandchildren.”