Registered sex offenders should never be allowed on social networks where people freely use their profiles as digital scrapbooks of their lives – frequently sharing photos of their babies and themselves on nights out potentially dressed proactively.
They do not have the right to participate in an open network online – where many children under the age of 13 have set up identities without their parents’ knowledge – just as they cannot mix openly in society offline.
I might be willing to agree that the bloke convicted of grooming kids online then raping them shouldn’t be allowed online to groom kids.
I certainly agree that Facebook, Lonked in and all the rest have the right to ban anyone at all from their sites.
But “registered sex offender” is such a wide description that such a ban is ludicrous.
Section 45(2) changed the definition of “child” in the Protection of Children Act 1978 (which applies to child pornography) from a person under 16 to a person under 18. Section 45 also inserted section 1A of the 1978 Act, and section 160A of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, which create defences which apply where the photograph showed the child alone or with the defendant (but not if it showed any other person), the defendant proves that the photograph was of the child aged 16 or over and that he and the child were married or lived together as partners in an enduring family relationship, and certain other conditions are met.
It is possible that a bloke with a picture of his 17 year old girlfriend with her tits out on a topless beach is guilty of a crime leading to being a registered sex offender.
This isn’t, I submit, a crime which should have you banned from an online social life.
And I’m sure the resident legal brains around here could offer up more examples of such stupidities.