(CNN) — A new Louisiana law requires sex offenders and child predators to state their criminal status on their Facebook or other social networking page, with the law’s author saying the bill is the first of its kind in the nation.
State Rep. Jeff Thompson, a Republican from Bossier City, Louisiana, says his new law, effective August 1, will stand up to constitutional challenge because it expands sex offender registration requirements, common in many states, to include a disclosure on the convicted criminal’s social networking sites as well.
Thompson, an attorney and a father of a 13-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son, said he hopes other states will follow Louisiana.
Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace have been removing sex offenders from their web pages for years, but Thompson said the law is designed to cover any possible lapses by social networking sites.
“I don’t want to leave in the hands of social network or Facebook administrators, ‘Gee, I hope someone is telling the truth,’” Thompson said Tuesday. “This is another tool for prosecutors.”