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The Connection

The award-winning news site of Cosumnes River College

The Connection

The award-winning news site of Cosumnes River College

The Connection

The courts shouldn’t have to be the ones to ban sex offenders

A federal appeals court’s decision to call the sex offender ban on Facebook unconstitutional is a bit of an awkward situation. It’s unclear how social media fits into the 225-year-old document, but constitutionalism shouldn’t even be a factor.

Mark Zuckerberg and every other brain behind Facebook should have instituted such a ban themselves. The fact that they could not think such a ban up themselves is why the term “brain” is used so loosely today.

The vile acts that cause sex offenders to be labeled as such aside, Facebook should learn from Myspace’s mistakes. The once-king of social media lost ground, and Myspace became what my friends and I call “a site just for pedophiles and hookers.”

The fact is, sex offenders have no place on Facebook. Parents don’t always fully understand the dangers of the internet and kids can be easily misguided.

An innocent game like Club Penguin can lead to shady encounters with creepy guys and gals just looking to “get their penguin dicks wet,” and yes, that is a quote I’ve seen posted online. What’s not funny is that there are actually guys that try to use kids’ games to pick up younger players.

If sexual predators could use Club Penguin to track down their next mark, there is no doubt Facebook would be another avenue to reach their desires.

Looking at the facts, 82 percent of internet sex crimes involve the predator gaining information about underaged individuals through social networking sites, while 65 percent of online offenders use social networks to gain information about the victim’s home and school information, according to Enough is Enough, an “Internet Safety 101” website.

Fact: well over 5 million kids under the age of 13 have Facebook accounts, and that number is sure to have risen since the article’s publication in September 2012 according to an article by The Huffington Post.

Convicted sex offenders are limited in how they have contact with children in person, but letting them utilize Facebook gives them easier access to have regular interaction with them.

Do you know any youngsters who can stay away from Facebook for even a day? Everyone has ties to not only their real life friends.

It would be just as easy for a 12-year-old to lie about their age online as it would be for a sex offender to lie about their name, age or even profile picture to befriend those kids.

Facebook needs to take a long, hard look at its open door policy and crack down on who is allowed to create a profile; Zuckerberg and friends shouldn’t leave it up to our legal system,which has enough problems on its plate already, to disallow social networking privileges to those who would take advantage of minors through it.

I don’t want my future children to wander around the virtual hunting grounds of sexual predators.

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About the Contributor
Stephan Starnes
Stephan Starnes, Former Staff
For seven semesters Stephan served on the staff of The Connection in various capacities, holding almost every title possible during that time. Everything from Editor in Chief to News Editor to Copyeditor and even Visual Editor were titles that were attached to his name at some point. As a veteran on the paper, Stephan shared his experience and skills with everyone that joined during his time there. Finishing his degrees in Journalism, Liberal Arts and Photography in spring 2014 he graduated from CRC and retired from the newspaper. Semesters on Staff: Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013 and Spring 2014

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The courts shouldn’t have to be the ones to ban sex offenders