This past Friday the North Carolina Supreme Court upheld the law that bans registered sex offenders from using social networks like Facebook. I’m actually ambivalent about this law mostly because it was pushed by NC Attorney General Roy Cooper back in the MySpace days as a piece of feel good legislation designed to get him re-elected. It must have worked because he’s still in office. When it first passed I argued that it really does nothing to protect kids from the predators who haven’t been caught yet.
Since that time I’ve referred to the law as the ‘Dumbfish’ law. I call it that because it is akin to a dumb fish jumping into a fisherman’s boat. Registered sex offenders in NC are supposed to register their e-mail addresses and social networking profiles with the state. In theory all they would need to do is just use a new e-mail address. However that has not stopped several sex offenders in NC from being caught in the Dumbfish net.
The main reason I’m ambivalent to the law is that no one should expect the government to raise your kids. As I tend to say parents are the only real line of defense between online predators and their kids.