Facebook ban against sex offenders is a parenting issue, not a legal one
Facebook has become a pretty important staple in most people's lives these days—which could be why registered U.S. sex offenders are now fighting for their rights to the social networking site in courts. A federal judge is questioning the constitutionality an Indiana law that bans them from social networking sites that can be used by children.
Today, the judge heard arguments against the ban that said the 2008 law violated sex offenders' freedom of speech and that it's unconstitutional to bar sex offenders from using online services such as Facebook if they are no longer in prison or on probation. Meanwhile, Indiana officials are saying that the law is necessary to protect young kids.
The debate has also gone public, with some defending the law and others proclaiming it a violation of American rights. Precedence does not side with the ban since similar laws have already been overturned in the past in other states like Nebraska and Louisiana. But one significantly relevant group that no one seems to have placed the blame on yet? Parents!
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Personally, I completely understand wanting to take proactive steps to protect the children and applaud that state officials are trying to figure out ways to do so. That being said, I completely disagree with the ban in this case. Why? Because I don't really think young kids should be on Facebook in the first place!
To me, this seems like more of a parenting issue than a legal issue. First of all, there are thousands of sex offenders that have never been caught or registered, so banning the ones that have actually been noted and obeying the law isn't going to do much. And legally, it'll be extremely difficult to create a ban with guidelines that don't impose on their freedom of speech.
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But even more significantly, no law will ever compensate for lax parenting. There will always be another social media or gaming site that can be potentially dangerous even if it's not Facebook and the only thing that can really protect your kids is prohibiting or limiting their time on the computer and teaching them about online safety and Internet risks. After all, there's a reason a parent is a parent—they should be the one setting rules and parental controls if it's necessary to do so.
And honestly if it was me, I wouldn't even let my kid have a Facebook. Why do they even need it in the first place? I didn't create one until I was 18 and I survived just fine! Young kids should be running outside and playing with friends, not spending their time on a site that really is meant for older generations. But if parents are willing to let their children participate on the network, then it's up to them to be more diligent with their kids and stay aware of their children's cyber activities.
Do you agree or disagree with the ban? Tell us in the comments fault!
Image via escapedtowisconsin/flickr