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To Facebook Friend a Predator: Louisiana's New Social Media Sex Offender Law
By: Christine Geraci
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Louisiana has passed a bill requiring sex offenders to announce their criminal status on any social media accounts they maintain. 
It's typically the policy of social networking sites like Facebook to remove sex offenders' accounts, but Louisiana's government feels that requiring sex offenders and child predators to post their criminal status would help to speed up the removal process. 
It's also just another extension of existing notification laws that require sex offenders to notify neighbors and school districts of their presence in the vicinity. 
But what's interesting here is that announcing a sex offender status on social media is vastly different from announcing it to neighbors. Letting people know you're a sex offender via social media isn't just telling people within a certain mile radius of your home — you're telling anyone and everyone in the world who's likely to come across your social profiles.
Which also begs the question — are certain privacy settings prohibited under this law? Does a sex offender need to make their profiles fully public in order to make their criminal status known? Is that even legal?
Since most social networking sites ban sex offenders from using their services to begin with, is this type of social media notification really necessary? Or do you think social networks are proper tools here?

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About the Author
Christine Geraci is the Social Media/Promotions Specialist at MVP Health Care in Schenectady, NY. Connect with her on Twitter @christinegeraci.
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