Breaking out of England: The Times of London (which is subscription-only, but here’s a Telegraph rewrite) reports that it has found evidence of prostitutes running absolutely rampant on Facebook and Twitter. The title screeches: “Children ‘are put at risk’ as prostitutes use Facebook to sell their wares.”
We’re shocked, shocked that sex workers would be advertising on social media services that are already overrun with marketers. Or we would be, if researchers hadn’t already revealed as much about two years ago. Did the anyone really think shutting down Craigslist’s adult services section was going to eject sex-for-sale from the Internet?
But it seems this is news to the Times, which tells of “lurid photographs” on Facebook and Twitter, accompanied by information about “specific sex acts on offer.” Gotta love a transparent vendor, right? But it doesn’t stop there; some of these pages are really giving the hard sell:
Escort agencies have used Facebook pages to offer special deals, such as a competition for a free, one-hour “incall” visit worth $225, and often list body measurements alongside photos of working “models”, with little effort to disguise that they were selling sex. One advert stated: “Bianca can satisfy physically like no other provider can.”
Also found on Facebook: recruiting ads. Probably best to take promises of 13,000 pounds a month with a great big grain of salt, ladies.
One expert went so far as to tell the Times that, “If you want an escort or sex worker in any major city in the world, Facebook is a good place to start your search.” Don’t do anything with that information that Mark Zuckerberg wouldn’t do.
Lest you assume this is Facebook’s new mobile monetization strategy (on the go!), rest assured the company removed the pages when the Times reached out. Twitter, on the other hand, has a bit of a wild streak: The company declined to comment and apparently has not removed the objectionable posts/accounts.