MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Status update: Sex Offender; it's what social media users in Louisiana will soon see if the criminals follow a new law. The law requires offenders to list their criminal status on Facebook and other social media profiles.
It's hard to find a child who doesn't know how to use a smart phone or computer, or one who's never asked for a Facebook page of their own. Stephanie Anderson has three daughters she says they've all asked for Facebook pages, "No, no, they're not going to get it, I don't care how they beg."
Facebook means 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, someone has access to your children.
13-year-old Xavier has had his Facebook page for two years, "If you have friends out of town you can send them messages on Facebook and pictures and things like that," he says.
Xavier has more than 300 "friends" on the social media site and says many of them he's never met. "I have people that send me friend requests and I accept them," he says.
That's why the state of Louisiana is stepping in with stricter social media laws. The first of its kind law requires sex offenders to include that information in their profile, along with the crime, county of conviction and their address.
Anderson says, "That's good, but they shouldn't even be on Facebook. For what? You are a sex offender you shouldn't be on Facebook."
If caught, violators could face two to 10 years in prison and up to $1,000 fine. Still parents don't think it will make much of a difference. Kristi Dean is the mother of two. She says, "If it actually comes to fruition great, but people with that disease, they have their ways to still get to the kids."
According to Facebook convicted sex offenders are not allowed to have profiles on the site. Facebook applauds the new law but says it will have no direct effect on its service.
Louisiana's law goes into effect August 1, 2012. State lawmakers are asking other state's to follow with similar laws.