Are registered sex offenders allowed on Facebook? - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Are registered sex offenders allowed on Facebook?


(WGEM) - How well do you know your friends on Facebook? One of them could be a registered sex offender.

According to a federal court, banning sex offenders from using social media networks like Facebook is unconstitutional.

That has police in the Tri-States busy, watching offenders closely online.

Hamilton resident Randy White says he doesn't want sex offenders on social media, especially knowing his granddaughter will someday be online.

(Click here to track registered sex offenders in your community.)

"We have different levels for DUI. We have different levels for traffic offenses. We are going to have to go to a system that has different levels for sex offenders."

But since a federal judge says laws cannot prevent sex offenders from using social media, all police can do is log on themselves and watch out for offenders.

"We check all of them regularly. We do spot checks on them," Hancock County Jail Administrator Kelly VanFleet said. "There is an officer here that checks social media just to make sure what they're doing."

(Need to report a sex offender that is on Facebook? Read the web site's rules and how-to information here.)

With 37 registered sex offenders in Hancock County, VanFleet says all 37 have to inform them of any activity they do on the Internet.

However, there's still that chance that they could slip up.

"We're always going to tell them, there's always a chance you can get in trouble while you're on the Internet," VanFleet said.

Knowing that sex offenders lurk online, taking precautions is essential for everyone.

Nolan Ard, for example, says he only interacts on Facebook with people he knows.

"if i see someone with no mutual friends of my other friends then i'm probably not going to accept them. But, if someone is friends with all my other friends then i'll probably accept them."

It's important to point out that Facebook says that convicted sex offenders are not allowed to use the site. So if you do notice an account that may belong to a registed sex offender and you want to report it, click here to do that.

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