A new Louisiana law will put some muscle behind efforts to keep registered sex-offenders and child predators off social networking sites by requiring them to disclose their conviction, physical appearance and residential address on their profile pages.
It is not clear which social networking sites will be affected by the law.
Facebook, along with Match.com and MySpace, forbid sex-offenders from using their sites per their Terms of Service agreement. With this law, which goes into effect Aug. 1, Louisiana sex-offenders will not only face social alienation, but legal punishment — 2 to 10 years in prison and up to $1,000 in fines — if they do not identify themselves.
“I don’t want to leave in the hands of social network or Facebook administrators, ‘Gee, I hope someone is telling the truth,'” State Rep. Jeff Thompson told CNN this week. “This is another tool for prosecutors.”
Facebook supports the law, according to a statement provided to CNN. “We take the safety and security of our users, especially the many young people on Facebook, very seriously. We have consistently supported legislation to help strengthen law enforcement’s ability to find, prosecute and convict online sexual predators.”
Other social networking sites — including OkCupid, MySpace, Foursquare, (Facebook-owned) Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn — do not explicitly exclude sex offenders from using their website, according to Forbes.
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