Sex offenders must register their social media accounts

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DALLAS COUNTY, Mo.– A sex offender in Buffalo is behind bars after not registering his social media accounts with law enforcement.

A jail sergeant in Dallas County says a sex offender’s account is monitored on occasion.

Dallas County Sergeant Tracy Lawson says a variety of sex crimes happen online through search engines, instant messaging, and dating apps.

Dallas County doesn’t use any fancy programs to look at an offender’s account.

His office doesn’t get any notifications when an offender posts something.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol does receive notifications using a search engine algorithm.

Sergeant Tracy Lawson, Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, explains how it works, “If certain words or certain indicators come up, they flag for anybody that puts one out. But if it’s put out, then it flags that they’re a registered offender, then they’re immediately reporting it to, normally, the state. The state is the controller of the defender registry. We provide the service of registering them.”

Sergeant Lawson uses his Facebook for his research. He says he hasn’t seen anything alarming from his research recently.

Lawson says a sex offender’s privacy is “quite limited.

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