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Under N.C. Gen. Stat. sec. 14-208.7, persons convicted of sexually violent offenses or offenses against minors after 1996 must register as sex offenders and maintain that registration for a minimum 30 years. The appellate court overturned the social networking ban on First Amendment grounds because it "arbitrarily burdens" registered sex offenders from engaging in modes of communication and expressive activity without actually shielding children from sexual predators.
According to the Jurist Web site, a federal court earlier this year overturned an Indiana statute barring sex offenders from social networking sites, ruling the law did not survive strict scrutiny review mandated in free speech cases.