New Facebook Status: Sex Ofender

Louisiana lawmakers being tough

A new bill was passed in Louisiana on Friday that requires all registered sex offenders to note their criminal status on all of their social network accounts — like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn — similar to how state registration requirements work.

“It provides the same notice to persons in whose home you are injecting yourself via the Internet,” Louisiana State Rep. Jeff 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 hours a day, seven days a week for somebody to interact with your children and your grandchildren.”

Thompson is the bill’s author and said that it’s the first of its kind in the U.S. The law goes into effect August 1.

Filling the gaps

Facebook and other social-networking sites have long prohibited sex offenders from signing up for accounts and have removed those that managed to log on. “You will not use Facebook if you are a convicted sex offender,” the social network’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities reads.

Louisiana’s new law is meant to catch those people the social networks miss. The law says that a registered sex offender “shall include in his profile for the networking Web site 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.”

Those who violate the new law face up to 20 years prison time with hard labor, without parole and along with fines of up to $3,000.

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