back to article Facebook faces more legal trouble

Social networking site Facebook has been ordered to turn over information on whether registered sex offenders have set up profiles on its site. The Attorney General's office of New Jersey has supoenaed the popular social network, along with 11 other social networking sites, ordering them to release the information. Facebook …

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So...

They are able to get a list of the sex offenders who are honest enough to use their real names and addresses (AFAIK you don't even have to put your address in to open a facebook account) the trouble is that these are the people that you *don't* need to worry about because they aren't trying to conceal themselfes in any way. They are probably such low level offenders that normal people wouldn't even consider them to be sex offenders, I don't know about America, but in the UK it is possilbe to get on the Sex Offenders register without being convicted of any crime, just accept a Police Caution and you are on the list.

What are they going to do with this information anyway? Tag the accounts as sex offender, don't talk to this person if you are under 18? Monitor the accounts in the background to see what the users are up to?

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Anonymous Coward

how do they know........

Does a check box exist on the account registration page?

[] Click if registered sex offender

No I dont think so, so how can facebook tell with accuracy, which of its users are registered sex offenders?

Maybe they should add one, then if if its not clicked, the account was opened fraudulently and they are protected.(IANAL)

Since you can sign up for membership of just about anything online with a fake address, how?

Judges, clowns in posh clothes...........

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Anonymous Coward

What would you do if....

.. you know of someone who uses facebook that has just been arrested for "sex offences" for the 2nd time ?

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I honestly don't understand

As Fraser pointed out, being a "sex offender" says nothing about the nature of the person of the "crime". An 18-year-old who had consensual sex with a 16-year-old can be arrested and forever branded as a "sex offender". Someone who gets drunk and gropes the wrong woman can be arrested and forever branded as a "sex offender". Worse, as we've seen pointed out here, a 16- or 17-year-old who posts nude pictures of herself on the internet can be arrested and forever branded as a "sex offender" (I ask you, who did she harm?). The trouble with the term "sex offender" is that it covers such a broad spectrum, it's meaningless. It's like calling criminals "criminals", and treating them all the same, whether they were arrested for stealing a loaf of bread or for murder.

Aside from that, I honestly don't understand what this country's problem is with "sex offenders". These people have been arrested and have served their time in prison. They have (according to the law) repaid their debt to society. They are *SUPPOSED* to be free. So why does the government then try to keep them isolated from everyone else? You can't go here, you can't go there, you can't go on social networking sites... If you want to isolate the people, why not take it to its logical conclusion and just put them in solitary confinement? That's what you want to do anyway. The way I look at it is this: *IF* someone is not fit to be released back into society, then don't release them back into society. Then again, in my opinion, the TRUE sex offenders (rapists, people dealing in child porn, etc) should be permanently removed from society. Why should someone who posted nude pictures of herself be prevented from accessing social networking sites for the rest of her life?

As for the "What would you do if..." comment, I would do nothing. I'm so sick of the "let's ban X person from this place because children might go there". Being on a social networking site, no matter who you are, should not be a crime. Soliciting sex from minors using that site should be (and is). Can you not see the difference? I'm so sick of this preventative society we're turning into where everyone is considered guilty, period. Sure, Christians tell us we're born with original sin. But no one told me I was born with original guilt.

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Joke

@Chris as well

"Why should someone who posted nude pictures of herself be prevented from accessing social networking sites for the rest of her life?"

Indeed. I mean - if she's posted them once, she's inclined to post them later as well. Why should social network users be denied non-illegal nudie pics?

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reasoning

Ok, i totally belive that in this country people are found guilty of the most unconcivable things, but however i belive also that sites like facebook have a duty to protect the people it co-habits on the WWW.

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Anonymous Coward

I never understood the attraction of Facebook

etc...

but now I know.

Its for those people who have a fetish for 12-year-old-impersonating law enforcement officers.

heh heh heh..

they're hawt.

heh.

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Paris Hilton

Sex Offenders

It's true. (well, at least as of a few years ago)

In Washington (state), at least, if you're caught urinating in public three times, you're on the sex offender list no matter how drunk and stupid you were. As far as I know, there isn't a way to get off the list either.

Sort of makes the whole thing pointless. Did your neighbor on the list just get drunk and piss in an alley when he was in college (who hasn't?) or did he just get out of prison for sodomizing toddlers?

Of course, add to that the old 'If you like to molest children please raise your hand- no sneaky cheating please' detection technique and we have a pretty pointless little political show.

Let's just pick on the easy targets, they say. It makes us look good and saves a lot of effort actually doing anything important. That might actually be hard- can't have that. Heaven forbid an illegal immigrant should be caught for public urination in Texas and then be assigned a lawyer who can't work his printer properly.

Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?!

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why is this facebooks fault!!!

all this trouble about pedophiles grooming children on these type of sites really annoying, parents should be supervising their children, not websites!!!!!!

as a parent it is your job to check what your children are doing and half the trouble with the world today is that everything is everyone elses fault, people need to take some resposibility for themselves and their children!!!!! a phedophile can only groom your child when you are not paying attention.

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Thumb Up

@Polly

Absolutely correct!!!

It's not Facebook's fault that your son or daughter is unsupervised and starts making plans to see sex offenders. My friend in high school got registered because he was 17 dating a 14 year old. I don't see the big deal in that but her parents were livid.

And since when (and it's been awhile) does Facebook allow you to search out these alleged 11-13 year olds to solicit sex? The last time I was on Facebook, you couldn't even get profiles to show anything past the menial information of location, a tiny profile photo and MAYBE age if it was listed and not hidden.

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