More than 65% of all adults in the US are now on social media, and this number is steadily growing. As social media is slowly becoming more ingrained in our society it raises several questions about how we use it and who gets to use it.
Sex offenders using social media is now a topic lots of lawmakers, lawyers, and pundits are talking about. Since social media is a hot bed for sex offenders and predators, it makes sense that the courts want to keep convicted sex offenders off social media when they get out of jail.
However, most courts have held that banning sex offenders from social media entirely is a violation of their first amendment rights and slows their reentry into society. Several states have passed laws banning sex offenders from social media, but most of these laws were eventually overturned in court.
Currently Florida does not have an overarching social media ban for registered sex offenders, but there are still some rules.
Judges can mandate certain rules for Internet use while a sex offender is still under supervision. This typically includes giving login information to the supervisor and submitting to regular monitoring.
Critics of this system claim it’s ineffective because it’s too hard to accurately track what sex offenders do online and accounts they set up. Sex offenders can easily set up accounts under false names and law enforcement would never know.
Finding a balance between freedom of speech and public safety is going to be a continuing work in progress. Lawmakers will have to weigh both factors and find a solution everyone can live with.