The issue that is being raised is, sex offenders and social media sites. Now Dr. Orlando claims to have counseled hundreds of sex offenders and feels they cannot be trusted on social media websites, ""It's way too tempting for them. It would be like an alcoholic taking a job as a bartender. It's really not a good idea, and they should know that."
Recently quite a few state Attorneys General went after MySpace to remove any sex offender who had an account and turn over that information to the various state Attorney Generals' offices. MySpace ultimately did as requested and removed 90,000 sex offender accounts (I'd question that number, but no way to prove their numbers).
MySpace then turned over all information to the state AGs, I watched the news to see how many of those sex offenders would be convicted of crimes against minors on MySpace. Out of 90,000 only one was convicted of a conversation with a minor on MySpace; ONE! (see: MySpace Predator Caught by Code) (LINK ATTACHED)
Now the AGs did find some of the sex offenders, who were on parole or probation (PP), and had a MySpace account when they were not supposed to because of PP, but none interacted with minors.
Whether or not it is a good idea for them to have such accounts is not the point here, the point is whether they can be trusted on social media websites that also have minors on them. I think there is a problem with what this article is claiming.
One out of 90,000 (roughly 20% of all sex offenders nationally; NCMEC stats). Oh yes, this article mentions an additional 5,000 on Facebook, but reports nothing as to whether they interacted with minors on Facebook. They only report the sex offender's background which is not the focus of this article. There is a definite problem with what this article claims.
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AKRON -- A local psychologist who has counseled hundreds of sex offenders believes there's nothing more dangerous to them or the public than the Internet.
"If they've benefited from treatment at all, they should know that they shouldn't be involved in any Internet discussions or be on any social networking sites," said Dr. James Orlando, Clinical Director at Summit Psychological Associates.
"It's way too tempting for them. It would be like an alcoholic taking a job as a bartender. It's really not a good idea, and they should know that."
Earlier this year, Facebook and MySpace each adopted new policies prohibiting sex offenders from having personal pages.
Facebook has already deleted the profiles of more than 5,000 convicted sex offender, including an Akron man who molested boys at a local high school ten years ago and whose Facebook profile was featured several weeks ago on Channel 3 News.
Recently, a Kent mother checked the names of sex offenders in her neighborhood and found four men -- all of whom had offended against young girls -- with active Facebook profiles.
Orlando realizes that the ease of access makes it impossible to follow every sex offender's activity on the Internet, but after counseling hundreds of offenders, he's confident social networking is a one-way ticket to disaster.
"Sex offending occurs in the context of a relationship, almost always," Orlando said. "So for an offender to offend, they need two things. They need opportunity to get to victims and they need an opportunity to develop a relationship . Social networking enables them to develop a relationship with a lot of people slowly over a course of time, and they slowly groom a lot of people until they find one they can offend against. So it's ideal for them."
LINK FOR THE BELOW IS ATTACHED.
Wired News Summary of Events on MySpace:
"Our own computer-aided investigation had an environmental impact at social networking site MySpace this year. Seven months after we used a custom PERL script to check MySpace’s user rolls for registered sex offenders, MySpace pulled the trigger on a copycat effort that turned up some 29,000 offenders on MySpace — 40 times the 744 we found. Flacks at the Fox-owned site didn’t exactly trumpet the number, but state attorneys general subpoenaed the details and nabbed a handful of offenders on probation and parole violations, while MySpace began banning their least-coveted demographic en masse, snaring some innocent users in the process.
Interestingly, no arrests for new sex crimes emerged from the database search — suggesting either that banning offenders isn’t the best way to catch them stalking new prey, or that the ones using their real names aren’t the ones looking to recidivate (our effort found one active reoffender, who was arrested). A banned sex offender with a nine-year-old conviction wondered why he was singled out. "Why not do it for identity theft convictions, drug dealing conviction, murder convictions?" By year’s end the online sex offender controversy had begun migrating, with the rest of the buzz, to Facebook."
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