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Social Media Software Sometimes Successful in Catching Sexual Predators

Internet activity by children and teenagers and the possibility for them to become the prey of sexual predators is a source of concern. Social media sites, such as Facebook, have some safeguards in place to prevent this type of criminal activity.

Facebook has automated software that scans posts and chats for sexual language and the exchange of personal information. In addition, by reviewing previously recorded online discussions of those convicted of sex crimes, the software learns what other types of exchanges it should look for. The system flags suspect material, and human monitors then review it.

Although these types of systems are essential for the proper functioning of sites like Facebook, they are, in fact, fraught with potential privacy problems. Employees of private companies are the ones making the initial decisions about whether a given communication is suspect, not police. Furthermore, no special permission is required for companies to monitor a person's account. And unless laws are passed addressing these issues or there are cases of pricey litigation against social media makers, experts believe that protective software will not be expanded, especially given the current booming market for smartphone applications.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or someone you love is being investigated for or has been charged with a sex crime, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can assess your case and help you protect your rights. For more information about what a criminal defense attorney can do for you, contact us today.