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LinkedIn bans prostitution and escort services

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Over 200 million people across the globe use LinkedIn to make career connections, but it would appear as though members of at least one profession are not welcome.

Many were surprised Monday to learn that Linkedin had updated its user agreement terms, explicitly disallowing the promotion of prostitution with the following clause:

i. Even if it is legal where you are located, [do not] create profiles or provide content that promotes escort services or prostitution.

It wasn’t the ban itself that caused a ruckus, so much as the question “are there actually prostitutes on LinkedIn?”

Apparently, yes. Many.

A quick search for the term “escort” returns thousands of legitimate results (mixed in with profiles that simply contain the verb “escort.”)

Prostitution, legal or not, has never been allowed on LinkedIn, Hani Durzy, LinkedIn’s director of corporate communications, told NBC News. Describing the salacious attention brought by the staid social network’s terms revision as “a baffling non-story,” Durzy emphasized that nothing at LinkedIn has changed. “We took the opportunity to make it clear that local laws are not relevant to what we will or won’t allow.”

Exactly how LinkedIn identifies and deals with users who violate LinkedIn’s terms of service — and whether the terms update would be followed by an active purge — we are eager to see.

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