LinkedIn Bans Prostitutes: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

linkedin prostitution ban

LinkedIn, the social job-networking website with over 200 million users, has updated its privacy policy and its user guidelines to ban advertising for prostitution-related services. Regardless of where you live, or whether prostitution is legal in your area, users are forbidden from “creating profiles or provide content that promotes escort services or prostitution.” Here are five fast facts you need to know about LinkedIn’s new ban on prostitution and escort services.

1.LinkedIn Now Explicitly Bans Escorts From Using the Site to Get Clients

LinkedIn recently updated its privacy policy and user agreement to explicitly ban escorts from using the business social network to get new clients. Even if prostitution is legal where you live the new user agreement states that you cannot: “Create profiles or provide content that promotes escort services or prostitution. LinkedIn has always prohibited “unlawful” profiles. The changes to the new user agreement make prostitution explicitly prohibited.

2.There Really Are Prostitutes Using LinkedIn to Make Connections

It wasn’t necessarily the ban itself that caused a stir, but many people started asking the question, “Are there actually prostitutes on LinkedIn?” The answer is yes. There really are prostitutes using LinkedIn to make connections. If you do a search for the term “escort,” thousands of legitimate results will show up with the term. “Prostitute,” however, returns far fewer results; most of the profiles include actors, researchers and writers who have portrayed one professionally.

3. “Prostitution” is a Tagged Skill You Can Select on LinkedIn

“Prostitution” is an option as a tagged skill for LinkedIn profiles. You can also list other skills like “gangs,” “rape,” “manslaughter,” “shoplifting” and “drug trafficking.” Your connections can endorse you for those skills.

4. “Female escorts” and “Call Girls” Were Among Categories of Employees on LinkedIn

According to ReadWriteWeb, “call girls” and “female escorts” were among categories of employees on LinkedIn. A job seeker advertised on his profile that he is “Specializing in ALL NUDE, full body massages, prostate massages, friendly/discreet services, and can usually host or travel.”

5. 38% of LinkedIn’s Revenue Comes From International Markets

In the fourth quarter of 2012 LinkedIn saw a total of $114.6 million of its revenue come from international markets. In the first quarter of 2013, that number jumped to $123.3 million. Legal or not, LinkedIn doesn’t want to be associated with that kind of activity. A spokesperson from LinkedIn said:

We have always prohibited these kinds of profiles. The recent change in our UA just makes it more explicitly prohibited. In the old UA, we had it covered by saying that one could not use a profile to promote anything ‘unlawful.’ However, in some countries, the activity actually is lawful. So we changed our UA to add a clause that explicitly states that ‘Even if it is legal where you are located,…’, and then goes on to explicitly prohibit escort or prostitution services.

It will be interesting to see how the changes to its privacy policy and user agreement affect LinkedIn’s revenue.

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