Most of us LinkedIn as a place to network for a new job in a profession such as management, computer science or journalism, not as a place to find a nude masseuse. But it turns out that the ten-year-old professional networking site isn’t devoid of prostitutes soliciting business.
Earlier this week the site updated its user agreement and informed its more than 200 million members that prostitutes were no longer welcome on its social networking site.
Where the agreement used to say that members couldn’t use the site to promote anything “unlawful,” LinkedIn administrators realised that prostitution is legal in many places, including Eastern Australian states and territories, parts of Europe, American, India and Mexico.
As of Monday, LinkedIn made the rules more explicit. It now says: “Don’t undertake the following. . . Even if it is legal where you are located, create profiles or provide content that promotes escort services or prostitution.”
These changes don’t look to have been taken very well by the folks at Sheri’s Ranch, a legal brothel in Nevada, America.
In a blog post on the company's website, it hits back at LinkedIn for the ban. Here are some of the choice pieces from the post:
"Legal prostitutes in Nevada are licensed and recognised by their county of employ as independent, taxpaying businesswomen. Nevada brothels are also licensed and recognised business establishments. These are legal businesses in reality, so why shouldn’t they have a presence in virtual reality?
“Since professionals specialising in pornography and other types of legal adult entertainment are welcome to use LinkedIn, prostitution just may be the only legal profession not allowed on the network. Can you think of another legal profession banned by LinkedIn?
“The reason for this ban is presumably because it’s easier for LinkedIn to group all forms of prostitution, legal and illegal, into the category of “just wrong” so that administrators can avoid angry messages from members who are unwilling to share the site with working girls.”
The post goes on to accuse LinkedIn of using its influence to push a social and political agenda.