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LinkedIn Bars Prostitutes, Escort Services

By Brett Snider, Esq. | Last updated on

LinkedIn is no longer a friend to prostitutes and escorts, after a change in the social networking site's policies Monday barred legal sex workers from promoting their services on their LinkedIn profiles.

The social media site's director clarified that LinkedIn has never allowed prostitution on its pages, and that this change in policy was an opportunity to make clear "what [the site] will or won't allow," reports NBC News.

LinkedIn may be able to exert some control over the content of its site, but users and those in the legal sex industry are not happy.

LinkedIn's Terms of Service Changes

The brothel brouhaha stemmed from LinkedIn's changes to its user agreement. It now explicitly states that users must not "create profiles or provide content that promotes escort services or prostitution."

The company isn't just gunning for prostitutes. It also prohibits:

  • Impersonating someone else;
  • Posting content that is obscene, libelous, or discriminatory;
  • Engaging in unprofessional behavior; and even
  • Inviting people you do not know to join your network.

So if you've invited someone other than your close confidants to join your LinkedIn network, you may technically be in the same boat as the escorts.

Cathouse Owners Scratch Back

LinkedIn's decision didn't just gain the ire of people who exchange fleshy good times for currency; it also got their bosses' attention.

Dennis Hof of the Moonlight Bunny Ranch in Nevada complained that his business is no different in the eyes of the law than gambling, and LinkedIn is not going after casinos, reports The Huffington Post.

Prostitution, like gambling, is legal in Nevada, and neither Hof nor his employees would break any state or federal laws by going about their business on LinkedIn.

Is LinkedIn 'Advertising'?

But Nevada's prostitution laws do prohibit the advertising of prostitution services outside of a licensed prostitution house, and with cathouse employees posting their sexual skills on their profiles, LinkedIn might just be a new portal for sex-worker ads.

Still, LinkedIn's new policies are unlikely to stop the droves of "professional massage" member profiles who continue to operate as a membrane-thin mask for both male and female sex workers.

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