Wrapping up Halloween for another year — and looking forward

By Sandy . . . This has been an amazing Halloween season. Overall, I sent emails to 73 Patch writers and editors in 25 states. I sent emails to 27 other media outlets and/or journalists. We sent out two press releases, here and here. I engaged in conversation on several Facebook pages, most notably in regard to this piece about a little town…

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Victims’ advocate wants unlimited Facebook access — does that apply to all?

By Sandy . . . I read with interest “Facebook block riles advocates of sex crime survivors.” Racheal Gonzales of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has posited an interesting position: Governmental officials and representatives should not be able to block constituents who disagree with them on their Facebook pages because it prohibits the critics’ ability to make their positions known and exercise…

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KY: Federal judge strikes internet restrictions, online identifiers

By Bruce Schreiner . . . LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky went too far in restricting internet access for registered sex offenders, violating free-speech rights by clamping down on their use of social media, a federal judge ruled Friday. In striking down the restrictions, U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove said [the] state law could keep sex offenders from participating…

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Packingham’s residual effects may impact Facebook, Twitter, even President

By Lincoln Caplan . . . DONALD TRUMP’S TWITTER account now has 40 million followers. It ranks 21st worldwide among 281.3 million or so accounts. It’s no secret that Trump is proud of his ability to use the account to communicate directly with his constituents. This summer, the president tweeted, “My use of social media is not Presidential—it’s MODERN DAY…

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NARSOL calls on Zuckerberg, Facebook to change policy

By Robin . . . Having already contacted Mark Zuckerberg by letter dated June 27, 2017, NARSOL has now released a nationwide press release hoping to bring additional pressure upon the social media giant to cease its nearly nine-year-old practice of barring registered citizens from creating or maintaining Facebook user accounts. While it’s important to note that the Supreme Court’s recent decision…

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Sex offenders have First Amendment right to Internet, social media

By David Booth . . . On June 19, the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed the value of social media as a pervasive news source and a socially ingrained forum for exchanging communications when it struck down an overreaching North Carolina statute. The North Carolina law under consideration made it a felony for any person on the sex…

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Packingham: Unanimous Court strikes NC’s social media ban

By Robin . . . In a broadly worded opinion penned by Justice Kennedy, a unanimous Supreme Court has closed the door on laws restricting access to the internet and social media forums by Americans who were convicted of a crime but who are no longer serving a criminal sentence. In reversing the N.C. Supreme Court’s decision in Packingham v.…

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Okay to ban sex offenders from social media? Who’s next?

By Perry Grossman . . . On April 27, 2010, Lester Gerard Packingham Jr. posted a Facebook status: “Man God is Good! How about I got so much favor they dismiss the ticket before court even started. No fine, No court costs, no nothing spent. . . . Praise be to GOD, WOW! Thanks JESUS!” This post appears entirely ordinary—something…

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