According to LinkedIn spokesman Hani Durzy, LinkedIn “has always prohibited these kinds of profiles.” But the site did just update its user agreement on Monday, to make the prohibition more explicit. Where the agreement used to say that members couldn’t use the site to promote anything “unlawful,” LinkedIn administrators realized that prostitution is legal in many places, including India, Mexico, and parts of Nevada. As of Monday, LinkedIn made the rules more explicit. It now says: “Don’t undertake the following. . . Even if it is legal where you are located, create profiles or provide content that promotes escort services or prostitution.”
The policy may be clear but there remain members who are trying to get around the rules. Business Insider ran a story earlier this week where it reproduced a profile of a “Personal Fitness Trainer/Masseur/Escort at Urban Fitness & Massage Services” in San Diego, Calif., whose summary includes “ALL NUDE full-body massages, prostate massages, friendly/discreet services.”
I did a basic search for “escort nude massage” and came up with 16 profiles, including two in New York City. One says, “Sensual Naked sexy massage girls.” I don’t think there’s any doubt about the services offered. Six of the entries are in India. One advertises, “Play with this boy!!!!” There is also a profile for “Anja the Shemale Cougar” in the U.K., with a picture of a man in what looks like a long brunette wig, red lipstick and a fishnet top.
Clearly LinkedIn does not sanction these profiles, but they are slipping onto the site anyhow. Perhaps it’s inevitable when there are 225 million members. What does LinkedIn do when it finds an offending profile? “We will take the appropriate action,” says Durzy in a terse email. “We have a team of people that are regularly and consistently looking at the site, “he adds, when prodded. “We also rely on the reports of our global membership to alert us to potential policy violations.” (forbes)