A South Carolina State Representative is hoping to make Facebook and other social media sites as no-go area for inmates by getting a bill passed which will prohibit prisoners from logging onto, or creating, a profile on a social network.
If the bill receives enough support, anyone serving time behind bars in a South Carolina jail would have 30 days extra added to their sentence if they are caught using Facebook or any other social network, plus a $500 fine.
The move comes amid concerns that inmates could be using their social media pages to intimidate people in the outside world, and also to engage in illegal activities from behind bars by communicating with outsiders using encrypted messages on social networks such as Facebook.
The bill would also seek to make it illegal for non-inmates to create Facebook profiles on behalf of prisoners in South Carolina, so if a person sets up an account for someone serving time, they could be punished through fines or even a custodial sentence, if the new guidelines are approved.
It’s currently illegal for prisoners to communicate with the outside world via the internet, however many recruit friends and family to smuggle mobile phones into prison so they can use these devices to access social media. It’s hoped that if the new bill is approved, it will act as a deterrent to prevent mobile smuggling into prisons and use of social networks by prisoners.