Stop Advertising Prostitution Expertise, LinkedIn Says

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The job-oriented social network has changed its privacy policy to explicitly prohibit profiles promoting prostitution or escort service. Some profiles on the site still list prostitution as a skill.

The world’s “oldest profession” is now banned from LinkedIn.

Wasn’t it already? Well, no, not exactly. And in a funny way, it still isn’t.

A recent update to the site’s privacy policy and user agreement includes language that forbids “content that promotes escort services or prostitution,” ReadWrite says. Previously, the policy only forbade “unlawful services.”

That apparently wasn’t clear enough, since prostitution is legal in some places. And, as ReadWrite found, prostitution is a skill listed on some LinkedIn profiles, as are manslaughter, larceny, forgery, drug possession and rape. However, the people listing these “skills” are generally police officers, lawyers and those who work with crime victims. Rather than skill, they actually mean “area of expertise.”

Here’s the wording in the new policy:

As a condition to access LinkedIn, you agree to this User Agreement and to strictly observe the following DOs and DON’Ts: … Even if it is legal where you are located, [don’t] create profiles or provide content that promotes escort services or prostitution.

ReadWrite still found profiles that offer services such as “all-nude, full-body massage.” It’s not clear whether LinkedIn considers those to be promoting something other than prostitution, or if it is simply unaware of them.

Stacy Johnson

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