Feel-Good Facebook Groups Irritate Me

Every day I’m invited to join one ridiculous Facebook group or another. Usually I just ignore them, but the one I saw today irked me at first sight.

It’s got a great feel-good title: Keep Sex Offenders Off of Facebook

Who wouldn’t be a fan of that? It’s to protect the children.

If you go to the About Section:

A place to express our mutual concern about allowing Registered Sex Offenders to have access to information contained on Facebook.
Keep Facebook safe for everyone
Security for parents and families knowing there kids can browse facebook safely

Over a million people already belong to this.

I get the sentiment and I agree with it in part, but not in full. It seems as though zero thought was given to the whole idea (not even going to touch on what I hope is merely a typo).

What level sex offender? Oh, that’s not mentioned. So, we’re to keep people off who have a public urination charge?

So just for giggles, we’ll pretend that there was actual thought given to this portion and that it only applies to those offenders to whom the label predator would apply.

Who would bear the burden of enforcement?

Parole officers?


A watchdog group?

What would stop someone from creating a fictitious account? It’s not rocket science.

Parents, educate your children about online safety, even if you don’t have the Internet in your home. Kids have access at the library, their friends’ houses, even on their friends’ smart phones.

Even if some measure were passed saying predators could not use Facebook,  this  would do little to protect kids. It could even make the situation worse by providing a false sense of security. You do realize that there are plenty of offenders in the world who have yet to be convicted.


1 comment so far ↓

#1 Cameron on 03.27.10 at 8:28 pm


We have criminalized peeing in public because it offends folks. Well, fine. But the collateral consequences are that a whole bunch of non-threatening ne’er-do-wells are sex offenders. And pedophiles and rapists go undetected among us. Because there is a moment before any sex offender commits a crime when he or she is just like you or me. Not guilty, just roaming free looking for prey.

I defend people accused of crime for a living. I think that from the outside it must seem like strange work. Cops say to me all the time, “Well, if you like him so much, how about we let him come live with you while he’s on bond.” That’s just cheap. Just because I don’t join every Facebook cause to eradicate dowager murders doesn’t mean I approve of dowager murderers. It just means I don’t believe in the “justice” of mindless crowds. It means I believe in civil and criminal structures. And that I am part of ensuring that they are built to prosecute the worst among us while protecting the least among us. And, well, sometimes the worst and the least are one and the same.

Bless you and anyone else who has the good sense to keep your knee-jerk reactions close to the hip. Those reactions are natural. And so is the over-reaching of the crowds who move in lockstep with those reactions.

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