Topic: Sex offenders’ use of social media
General Purpose: To persuade the audience that it is a problem there are no regulations against sex offenders using social media Specific Purpose: To convince the audience to participate in ways to protect our community from unregulated sex offenders using social media sites Thesis: In order to protect the community of Omaha, we must find ways protect ourselves from sex offenders on social media sites.
A. Each day, Facebook processes 2.7 billion “Likes,” 300 million photo uploads, and 2.5 billion status updates and check-ins, according to the Bloomberg Businessweek article “Facebook: The Making of One Billion Users” by Ashlee Vance from October 14, 2012 (Vance, Facebook: The Making of One Billion Users, 2012). B. This means that millions of people, including most of us in this room are sharing aspects of our personal lives on Facebook. 1. Imagine the horror if you were to find out that someone on your “Friends List” was actually a sex offender. Well this may actually be the case. 2. According to City-data.com, as of November 15, 2012 there are 951 sex offenders living in the Omaha area and 16% of sex offenders manipulate their identities in order to use Facebook (City-data.com, 2012). C. In order to protect the community of Omaha, we must find ways protect ourselves from sex offenders on social media sites. D. We will first explore Omaha’s problem of having no laws to regulate sex offenders’ social media usage, and then look at the causes of this problem, and finally investigate a solution to end it. II. Body
A. The problem at hand is that there are no laws in Nebraska regulating sex offenders’ use of social media sites, leaving the Omaha in danger of possible repeat offenders. 1. In October, Nebraska U.S. district Judge Richard Komph rejected a law that would’ve banned sex offenders from social media sites, according to the Omaha World-Herald article “Judge strikes down restrictions on sex offenders” by Joe Duggan on October 20, 2012 (Duggan, Judge strikes down restrictions on sex offenders, 2012). a. The judge said this would’ve taken away constitutional rights, like freedom of speech and due process. 2. According to Judge Tanya Pat, Indiana judge who enforced this ban on sex offenders “sites like Facebook have effectively created a 'virtual playground' for sexual predators to lurk" from her court ruling quoted in the Washington Post article “Federal judge bans sex offenders from social networking” by Charles Wilson (Wilson, Federal judge bans sex offenders from social networking, 2012). a. Pat enforced this law to protect the one in seven youths have somehow been sexually harassed online and without it, Omaha is left to protect itself against offenders. 3. In January 2011, a local news station aired the story about previous sex offender Curtis Jenson, and how he thought he was meeting up with a 15-year old girl he had been chatting with online. a. For four months he had been lying about his identity online, pretending to be a teenager and attempting to make sexual relations with the girl. b. This repeat offender was actually talking to the Bellevue Police Department who was doing an investigation on 37 year old Jenson c. Curtis Jenson was arrested in Bellevue which is a suburb of Omaha which shows us how close to home this problem really is.
B. Our communities are met with this problem because social media sites are so popular that people will lie about their identities in order to use them. 1. According to the article “Underage Facebook Members” from ABC News online by Kimae Heussner, there were 7.5 million users under the age of 13 using Facebook in 2011 and 92,000 sex offenders lying about their identities in order to use Facebook. (Heussner, Underage Facebook Users, 2011) a. Facebook’s guidelines specifically state that both of these parties are prohibited from using the site, but because it is...
References: City-data.com. (2012, October 23). Registered Sex Offenders in Omaha, Nebraska. Retrieved October 23, 2012, from http://www.city-data.com/so/so-Omaha-Nebraska.html
Duggan, J. (2012. October, 20). Judge strikes down restrictions on sex offenders
Heussner, K. (2012, May 10). Underage Facebook Members. ABC News. Retrieved November 15, 2012, from
Sex offenders fight for Facebook rights. (2012, May 30). Associated Press. Retrieved October 23, 2012 from http://www.cbsnews.com.
Wilson, C. (2012, June 12). Indian’s Facebook ban for sex offenders upheld; ACLU to appeal law to protect kids on social networks. Associated Press, p.A6.
Wilson, C. (2012, May 31). Sex offenders sue over restrictions. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p.A10.
Judge blocks part of new Nebraska sex offender law. (2009). Associated Press. Retrieved October 23, 2012 from http://www.firstammendmentcenter.org
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