E-mail Scott
Scott's Links
About the Author
Opinion Archives
Social Media:
Facebook
Twitter
Tumblr
Google Plus
YouTube
Flickr
PhotoBucket
Monthly Archives:

January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012
November 2012
December 2012
January 2013
February 2013
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
September 2013
October 2013
November 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
April 2014
May 2014
June 2014
July 2014
August 2014
September 2014
October 2014
November 2014
December 2014
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
September 2015
October 2015
November 2015
December 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
May 2016
June 2016
July 2016
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016
November 2016
December 2016
January 2017
February 2017
March 2017
April 2017
May 2017

Powered by Blogger
Subscribe via RSS

Monday, March 13, 2017

Sex offenders, Facebook and the Supreme Court

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

The Supreme Court should strike down the North Carolina law that bans sex offenders from using social media, and early arguments indicate that will happen. We can and should protect children online from predators, but we should not do so in a way that radically restricts free speech - including two of the most important websites (Facebook and Twitter) for political organizing and information.

First, I want to address an unbelievably offensive headline on Slate: First, They Came for the Sex Offenders... This is anti-Semitic and borders on hate speech. Slate is actually equating punishment of people who have committed terrible crimes (including some crimes worthy of death) with the mass slaughter of millions of completely innocent people, including children. No matter how much you think this law is wrong, the Nazi analogy is heavy handed and just plain immoral.

To a large degree, we would not have this problem if we actually killed people who committed crimes worthy of death. Someone who is executed for rape or child molestation would not be able to sign up for a social media service. The fact that our "justice" system, our courts and our legislators have abandoned their God-given responsibility to bear the sword in His name has created a mess where we have to deal with people who should never be in society in the first place.

With that said, it is also important to remember that the term "sex offender" is very broad. When we hear "sex offender" we think of a monster who has committed unimaginably evil deeds. However, "sex offender" could include an 18 year old who has sex with his 15 year old girlfriend. We have seen teenagers charged with child pornography for sending pictures to each other. (See here and here and here.) In some cases, someone who was caught urinating in public with no sexual or exhibitionist intent is labeled as a "sex offender." We need to drastically reform the way we classify "sex offenders."

The North Carolina law, however, goes too far. It cuts too many people off from services that are very important means of engaging in society. In some cases, it can make it more difficult to find meaningful employment, because LinkedIN does not limit membership to adults. Shame on North Carolina for taking this all the way to the Supreme Court, where it will likely be struck down, when they could have simply repealed it and passed a new law with the goal of protecting children without unnecessarily restricting free speech rights.


Below are the rules for commenting on ConservaTibbs.com.

  1. A reasonable level of civility is expected. While it is expected that controversial political and social issues may generate heated debate, there are common-sense limits of civility that will be enforced.

  2. This blog is a family-friendly site. Therefore no cursing, profanity, vulgarity, obscenity, etc. will be allowed. This is a zero-tolerance rule and will result in automatic deletion of the offending post.

  3. Anonymity has greatly coarsened discourse on the Internet, so pseudonyms are discouraged but not forbidden. That said, any direct criticism of a person by name cannot be done anonymously. If you criticize someone, you have to subject yourself to the same level of scrutiny or the comment will be deleted.

  4. Please keep your comments relevant to the topic of the post.

  5. All moderation decisions are final. I may post an explanation or I may not, depending on the situation. If you have a question or a concern about a moderation decision, e-mail me privately rather than posting in the comments.

Thank you for your cooperation.