Complying with international law is proving a sticky business for LinkedIn. Prostitution is perfectly legal in many parts of the world, but it is very illegal elsewhere, so when users begin getting endorsed for their abilities as a prostitute, it’s probably time to rethink the user agreement.
The following statement has now been added: “Don’t ….. even if it is legal where you are located, create profiles or provide content that promotes escort services or prostitution.” Which has been changed from the more ambiguous wording of not promoting anything “unlawful” which of course wouldn’t apply to prostitution in certain parts of Europe and America.
Those representing the industry have lashed out at LinkedIn, complaining that it cannot ban businesses that are completely legal in the real world. Legal or not, LinkedIn have made it clear that local laws are not relevant and that these entrepreneurs of the night will just have to find an alternative virtual space to promote their wares.
The porn industry will also be feeling nervous as Google’s Matt Cutt’s recently spoke about how they intend to target specific markets that rely on spammy methods to promote their results in the search listings, specifically mentioning porn. On the other hand, Google Glass is expected to revolutionise the porn business (I’ll leave the details, should you want them, to your imagination) so all in all it looks like it could be an eventful year for marketing departments across the industry.