A new Louisiana law — the first of its kind in the country — orders convicted sex offenders and child predators to publicly spell out their criminal status on social networking sites.
The man behind the bill, State Rep. Jeff Thompson, said the law was important because websites don't do a good enough job policing offenders on their own. For example, Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities technically bans sex offenders from using the site, along with prohibiting children under 13. Still, as we know, millions of little kids are merrily Facebooking away anyway. "I don't want to leave in the hands of social network or Facebook administrators, 'Gee, I hope someone is telling the truth,'" Thompson told CNN. "This is another tool for prosecutors."
First time violators could be imprisoned for up to ten years without parole and fined up to $1,000; a second conviction could result in up to twenty years without parole and $3,000. Should we worry about those who say they were wrongfully accused? Not according to Thompson, who said the bill is simply an extension of other laws that mandate public notice and registrations for convicted offenders.
"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."
We're forgetting the real winners, here: every douchey dude who thinks it's hilarious to hack into his fraternity brother's Facebook page and change his sexual orientation to "interested in men." A "sex offender" prank is, like, soo much sicker.
Image via Szasz-Fabian Ilka Erika/Shutterstock.