Facebook’s New App Uncovers Your Sex Offender Friends

Posted at 8:25 PM, Mar 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-15 01:58:36-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (March 14, 2014) — A warning not only for parents, but for anyone using social media. Do you really know who all of your friends on Facebook are?

The app is called Friend Verifier App, and it’s making an offender’s past harder to hide.

FOX 17 tested the Facebook application ourselves on Friday to see how it works.

You get a choice of two buttons where you are prompted to scan your friends or scan your friend requests. That’s when the power of this new tool goes to work, pouring through statewide databases to cross check them with your friends.

In an instant, your entire Facebook friends list is filtered through the national sex offender registry. Within seconds, your search results are returned to your screen.

We tested the app on a profile from one of our FOX 17 employees. In the app, friends are categorized into colors. Yellow means it’s extremely unlikely the person matches a name on the sex offender registry. The color pink means a likely match.

On the account we checked, there was a match for a west Michigan man’s. By clicking on the name, a profile shows his address, age and crime.  This man’s conviction was for possessing child pornography.

This is just one example of someone who could be on you or your child’s friend’s list, and have no idea they’re in touch with a possible predator.

There is a disclaimer on the friend verifier app. It says the site can’t guarantee every record is accurate.  You need to make sure you tap the match button for more details including full name, description, and mugshot. There is a chance that they may just have a similar name.