Familiar with the 90 in 90?
If they want to deny sex offenders from going on facebook, youtube or any other site, then they ought to restrict all ex-convicts or anyone having been sentenced for any crime in their past. Why restrict one segment of society over the other? This is done in theocracies and dictatorships, but is not suppose to happen in a free society. Whenever a government restricts any segment of society over the rest of society of certain rights it is known as a dictatorship, not a free country. We fought England for our freedom in the Revolutionary War to gain our independence to have a free society, but slowly over time we have returned to square one back to a monarchy under a dictatorship type of government yet we have done nothing to change it back as we had done during the Revolutionary War.
Let me start by saying, I’m against this. I have a friend who’s on ‘the list’ for something that I feel he doesn’t deserve to have so much of his life monitored / discriminated against due to. But that’s neither here nor there.
In a discussion with (another) friend (yes, I have more than one!) I was reminded that, in many cases, lawmakers feel the need to make laws so that they can say, “Look! I did (x)! Rehire me come election time!” This feels like one of these. You put it up, it generates attention (mentioning Facebook gets people watching), and you sound like you’re doing something ‘proud and noble’ against the evil sex offenders. Heck, anyone working against you in this could easily be painted as -weak- on sex offenders.
So, my thought? This is a dodge. A measure being put forward for grandstanding reasons more than people actually thinking it will do anything useful.
First, the analysis should begin with Facebook. Facebook was originally conceived to serve as a website where college students could converse with other college students. The website, then as now, has some features to allow those with an account to express themselves. The website permits its members to post photographs on their account for others to see. The website has a profile section for members to provide information regarding their religious beliefs, their political ideology, favorite books, movies, and so forth. The website allows people to become fans of political organizations and include links to these organizations on their profile page. For example, one can become a fan of the Federalist Society and include a link to the Federalist society webpage, or become a fan of something. Just recently one could become a fan of “Keep Student Led Prayer Out of Alexandria High School.”
In addition, people of course engage in discourse, from the mundane to politics. Not surprisingly, all of these features mentioned above facilitates dialogue among the members, where they expound upon their beliefs, ideas, and so forth. So, it is safe to say Facebook involves a good deal of speech. One may even characterize Facebook’s existence of one designed to foster speech.
Now, let me briefly distinguish a school from Facebook before proceeding to the legal analysis. A school was not conceived for the purpose of faciliating or fostering speech by a wide spectrum of members in society, like Facebook. Sure, some speech may take place at a school, or near a school, but this is different from Facebook. So I think comparing Facebook to a school for purposes of validating restrictions on the former is problematic.
Time does not permit me at the moment to engage in the legal analysis but I will do so tomorrow.
I think Facebook counts as speech, and thus should not be restricted unless there is clear and present danger.
Whoa there cowboy. The reason they targeted sex offenders is because so many of their MOs are social network related. If you just wrote that because you don’t particularly care for felons in general, then rest assured, if they’re on parole then they’ve got their own stipulations related to their offenses. Such as, one on parole for credit card fraud has stipulations prohibiting them from owning a bank account or credit cards.
Also, I understand what you are trying to get at regarding the direction our, ever growing, government is going, but, it’s certainly not monarchy, it’s socialism. Which one is worse? I don’t know, capitalism is the only system that works in any society… Well, I guess I should just stop there.
The primary purpose of this law has to be to make it easier to convict repeat sex offenders, right? It’s not like it would actually stop them from using it? I mean, soliciting minors has been illegal forever, but that doesn’t stop them.
It would be as effective as MySpace’s policy to completely block off under 16 to anyone over 18. That only punishes the legitimate users which may have a reason to know a younger person. The child molesters are just going to lie about their age and put up an old/fake photo. I did an experiment once where I lied about my age, put a cartoon character as my avatar, and was, by going through certain networks, able to add over 4000 people, most of them underage.
Okay, where was I? Oh, yes. I’d much rather see this sort of thing be pressured on the sites themselves to enact this as policy. When the government does it, it does come across to me as curtailing speech. There are legitimate reasons a sex offender might want to use a social networking website.
I don’t see where the law could even be enforced. It’s too easy to get a throwaway e-mail address, join under a false name, and use a different name for each site. Lather, rinse, repeat. It would be a lucky PO would could find one of these people unless he were looking really really hard.
But if an investigation reveals some dodgy conduct and it leads to a sex offender, they don’t have to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that he was soliciting a minor; they can just charge him with having the account.
It’s a lot harder to be anonymous on the phone or postal mail.
Phone calls can be traced back to a specific landline number or cell handset (except for pay phones, but those are quickly becoming extinct). And postal mail has a return address (though that can be faked) and can be physically examined for fingerprints, DNA, and other CSI-type identifiers.
*So what about simply requiring that such convicted people must use their real name in all online activities? *
Seems like that would serve much the same purpose, and not run afoul of Constitutional fights.
P.S. Personally, I don’t understand the use of fake names online at all. I thought aliases were just for criminals. Everything I do online is under my real name.
What, you gotta death-wish or sumpin’?