Louisiana Man Gets Charges Dismissed for Using Facebook; Clearmycase.com
A Louisiana man was charged with setting up a Facebook account, which was considered a violation of his probation. Clearmycase.com, hired Attorney Nicolas Linder to represent their client and helped him prove that he had the right to access social media although he was still on probation.
The Reaction of Clearmycase.com
John Bordelon, President of Clearmycase.com, was delighted with the decision by the court and stated that Mr. Jakubielski was merely utilizing Facebook to find employment. Mr. Bordelon further noted that the community should not summarily dismiss individuals without giving them the benefit of the doubt. Justice without oversight leads to inconsistent outcomes. In Louisiana, sex offenders must keep off social media websites as mandated by the law. For an internet site to pass as a social media networking site, the service must permit persons to create profile pages that are available to the general public. The site must also facilitate communication among users. Websites which have instant messaging, photo-sharing capabilities or electronic mail don't qualify as social media sites. For intent, the person must attempt to contact other users. If found in violation of the statutes, the offender can be fined up to ten thousand dollars, or imprisoned with hard labor for a limit of ten years, without parole or probation.
Restrictions and the Freedom of Speech
Social media sites have made the solicitation of minors, stalking and harassment easier, prompting the amendment of laws across the country to restrict the sex-offenders from using them. Such rules are problematic since they violate a fundamental clause in the First Amendment. Already there is a law requiring the registration of offenders on sex-offender registries in any geographic zone.
Social media remains a hotly debated topic since the way we interact with other is changing. Each day more communications are happening online facilitated by social media sites, which also have further capabilities. For instance, LinkedIn is a professional site, currently used by 200 million people. Facebook and the other sites have become critical in the way users engage with business and brands.
The laws against the use of social media sites and sex offenders, not only limits their right of expression but also access to information and ideas. Also, banning the complete use of social media instead of the specific action of exploitation of minors is injudicious. Cases involving the state against sex-offenders have had similar ruling with charges against offenders dropped.
Earlier this year, five Justices of the Supreme Court decided that the role of social media sites as an essential source of information is too important to deny sex-offenders access. They also concluded that laws in North Carolina directly violate the First Amendment.
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