The recent decision by professional networking site LinkedIn to bar sex workers from posting profiles has led to a disagreement between brothel owners in Nevada, where escorts can legally ply their trade, the Huffington Post reported on Wednesday.
“Are you then going to shut down Steve Wynn’s casino in Vegas, where gambling is legal?” asked Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlight Bunny Ranch. “Don’t paint me the same as the people who are doing things illegally.”
LinkedIn, which informed users of the new policy on Monday, now forbids escorts from using the site to look for business, a move Mustang Ranch owner Susan Austin said she supported.
“Advertising is against the state statutes and I wouldn’t allow my ladies to advertise in any form,” Austin said. “Social media is a gray area that turns ugly fast.”
Though not mentioned by name, Nevada’s brothel policy is referenced in the user agreement’s “Do not undertake the following” section, which mentions that, “Even if it is legal where you are located,” LinkedIn members should not post content related to promoting prostitution or escort services. Hof said the new rule is too vaguely worded.
“The FBI says anyone who takes money for sex is a prostitute,” he said, mentioning that the site still allows adult film actors to maintain profiles on the site. “LinkedIn was enabling illegal prostitution, but they need to go after the sex traffickers and leave us alone.”
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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