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LinkedIn’s Decision To Ban Prostitution Infuriates Legal Brothels

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A world renown Nevada brothel is furious that prostitutes are no longer allowed on LinkedIn.

The professional social networking website has made a policy change clarifying that it will no longer allow prostitutes or organizations that promote prostitution to be on its site — regardless of if it’s legal in the area the person or company is located in.

The company maintains in a statement to KRLD that it has always had a policy to outlaw all illegal activity on its website, even if it wasn’t entirely clear.

“In the old user agreement, we had covered the area of escort services and prostitution by saying that one could not use a profile to promote anything “unlawful”. However, in some countries, the activity actually is lawful. It was confusing, and a little too general and vague, for our members. And the whole purpose of our rewrite of our user agreement was to make it clearer for our members. So we changed the language in the user agreement to read that ‘Even if it is legal where you are located…’, and then goes on to explicitly prohibit escort or prostitution services.”

The change is especially disappointing to Dennis Hof, who owns the famous Moonlite Bunny Ranch, a legal brothel in Nevada that is featured on the HBO show “Cathouse”.

“I pulled up my account and it says ‘your LinkedIn account has been temporarily restricted,’” said Hof to KRLD. “I don’t know where these guys are coming from, but I’m suggesting to everybody — cancel your LinkedIn account.”

Hof goes on to say that the ban is inappropriate because prostitution is largely legal in Nevada.

“LinkedIn has all of a sudden got morals and they decided that worldwide they want to take prostitution off their site. Well that’s great, but it’s legal here in Nevada in certain places.”

Christie Summers, a college graduate who works as a “Bunny” at the ranch, is equally outraged at the decision.

“I don’t think its very fair because I do this legally. I graduated from the University of Michigan recently and I do this legally. I get tested every week and I work hard,” said Summers, whose profile was also removed.

“I was doing a photo shoot last night and that’s when I found out about it. It kind of annoys me because I feel like I was being judged.”

Opponents to prostitution and human-trafficking meanwhile are calling this a great victory.

Randy Burton founded Justice for Children, a non-profit organization that “provides a full range of advocacy and services for abused and neglected children.”

“I’m glad that any site on the internet that somehow provides access to prostitutes is trying to minimize that opportunity,” said Burton, who was shocked that such a thing was even allowed on LinkedIn to begin with. “I cannot believe that’s on LinkedIn. My firm, myself, most of the people I work with use LinkedIn as a business development tool.”

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with 225 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the globe.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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