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MO: Jackson Co. takes tough stance on tracking sex offenders’ social media activity

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office takes a tough stance on making sure sex offenders are compliant with the law.

They do it in a number of ways, including sweeps.

Offenders are required to report the basics, his or her name, home and work address, any vehicles they own, any scars or tattoos they may have, and internet presence they may have. Full Article

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Summing it up, this article says sex offenders are internet sex predators after children and they can’t control their urges, so they lie. Much like cops get trigger happy, kill anything that moves and get away with it. Anything else to overgeneralize?

Just out of curiosity, does anyone have any stats on how many offenses began on social media, Facebook in particular? If the problem is anywhere near as large as it’s made out to be, wouldn’t it be easier to restrict minors from the internet? Aren’t minors already restricted from bars, some gyms, and a host of other establishments for their safety and general appropriateness – why shouldn’t that logic apply to the internet?

And the presumption that convicted sex offenders are trolling the net looking for their next victim is belied by the re-arrest and re-conviction rates of SO registrants. To create a whole task force to “monitor” (harass) those that in all likelihood will never offend again is pure waste. Betting the main reasons that this particular ordinance gets broken is either ignorance of it, onerous procedure to report, or just plain getting sick of creating a new profile when this task force reports them to Facebook to get their accounts deleted.

So, let me get this right: the United States Supreme Court ruled that convicted sex offenders are permitted to have internet social media presence. But Missouri none-the-less is going to set 3-day traps for registrants so they can charge them with new offenses? Good old American justice and law enforcement ensuring our freedoms! 😡

The way I understand the SCOTUS ruling is that RC’s can’t be legally barred from social media. The requirement to provide your social media information is independent of that as they’re not the ones forcing you to give it up. They simply report your info to FB and others and then those companies can delete your account based on their policies which are permitted since we’re not a protected class. This bill focuses on forcing the RC’s to provide such information under a legal penalty. Basically, it’s not the laws problem what a private company chooses to do with that info, so the SCOTUS ruling doesn’t apply. It’s one of those BS things like international travel reporting. “We’re not saying you can’t travel the world. We’re simply providing the information to every country and its they who are barring your entry. See? We’re, like, totally not infringing on your rights on anything.”

Technicalities like this are the bread and butter of the legal system. It’s how SCOTUS can indirectly rule that PA registry isn’t constitutional but not have it apply nationally because technical reasons.

Exactly. The State cannot bar your Free Speech (which also includes not speaking, listening, and not listening) in this manner, but a private party still can. FB has the exact Free Speech rights of any other legally-defined person, and opts not to speak with or listen to RCs. So yes, Packingham was a nice 1st Amdt. win, but much less so on the RC front vis a vis social media. IMO, good old 34 USC 20917, “Checking System for Social Networking Websites,”* ( is where to attack.

*Taking the words of SCOTUS from Packingham, it appears this Section of US Code should be re-titled, “Checking System for Modern Public Squares.” 582 US ___ (2017) (slip op. at 8) for you legal-beagle geeks like me. (

@The Unforgiven: Whoa, whoa…let’s not confuse fiction (RCs) with fact (LEOs)… 😉
I had to laugh at the special badges they have (“Western Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force”). “There, now that we have these cool badges, we’re legitimate.” Personally, I think there’s a typo, as it’s spelled f-A-r-c-e.
Epperson added 300 offenders failed to report changes last year in a timely manner and received a summons.
So failure to follow *this* “regulatory scheme” results in a summons, whereas (for the “normal” citizen) failure to renew license plates (another regulatory scheme) in a timely manner results in what, a fix-it ticket? Maybe a fine?
And here’s a thought: maybe the faliures by these people was because the system is so onerous and confusing! I’m still not sure who wants my info in between updates. The law says the DMV, but when I’ve gone to them, they claim it’s the sheriff. I’m glad they’ clear on it all, given they’re who enforce it and such. Oh wait, LE isn’t obligated to know the laws…never mind.
“Obviously, all these people aren’t going to go back out and commit additional crimes but just that substantial step of not reporting that information to the sheriff’s office shows that they’re already not following the rules,” Epperson said.
So when one of your officers doesn’t follow the rules, do you nail him/her to the wall, too? It appears that’s the standard you wish to use.
He added apps with chat and video features like Kik, Snapchat, MeetMe and Omegle could put children in vulnerable positions.
So could the telephone, hanging around Uncle Bob or Aunt Mary, going to church, going to school, hanging around other children, etc. It sounds like all children need to be in solitary until they’re 18….aww heck, let’s make it 21, just to be extra cautious that we’re saving even one child.
Which is why law enforcement emphasize that parents need to lay down the foundation for online safety.
Wait…what’s this talk of parental involvement and responsibility? Umm, I thought the Government is supposed to take care of everything. Heresy!
(Yes, I’m feeling a bit snarky this morning.)


Good snark there. Well articulated. More coffee?

“Badges?! We got some stinkin’ cool badges!”

There’s a reason why MO is known nationally not as the “Show Me” state (sounds like an offense waiting to happen there) but “Misery” just spelled differently.

Ha, and thanks! I try to hold back and post neutral or positive thoughts, but sometimes I “just gotta.”
I’m not much for hot caffeine, preferring mine via (quoting a relative), “red-and-white breakfast cylinders” (i.e. Coke cans), if anything.
“Show Me” state (sounds like an offense waiting to happen there).
Indeed! Sounds like the State of MO (less, please) is grooming. The “MO Compromise” takes on a whole new meaning, too.

We have got to realize that these various sex offender registry laws are not going to do anything to keep anyone safe, stop being dependant on politicians and lawmakers for protection and learn to take some responsibilities and stop the glorification of victimhood because nobody wants to be the victim and suffer, and lastly learn to forgive.

Everyone has been victimized by somebody and everyone has victimized somebody. There are some sex offense victims has victimize at a greater victimization than they have.

So, let me get this straight.

You are opening investigations on those on the registry that were reported to you, because they were using their real identities, to make sure they reported all of their online usernames to you, and if not, you charge them with a crime?

How does this protect the public?

It only affects those that are trying to be law abiding citizens.

Those with nefarious intent, will not disclose any of their real information and therefore, you won’t ever be investigating them for not updating their identifiers, or for doing an activity that is already illegal.

Great job wasting time and money to put people trying to reform back in jail while doing nothing to stop the criminals, but hey, you spin it right and the public continues their false sense of security that you depend on.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x