The company had included language specifically banning profiles or content “that promotes escort services or prostitution.” While LinkedIn has never officially permitted the use of its website to promote such activities, the use of suggestive search terms by NBCNews quickly generated a number of LinkedIn listing for escort and sexual service providers, based both in the U.S. and U.K.
Many of the listings contained fairly explicit language describing the services offered. Some prostitutes had even created profiles looking for employment at brothels in areas of the U.S. where prostitution is legal.
LinkedIn’s new rules say that prostitution remains off limits on the website, regardless of local laws. The website appears to be moving to remove listings that promote illicit services.
The owner of a number of brothels in Nevada, where prostitution is legal, complained to NBCNews that LinkedIn’s new policy was unfair. Prostitutes, he argued, are business people too.
Last month, LinkedIn released a new app that organized a user’s contact information on smartphones and tablets.
Shares of LinkedIn fell about 1% in Thursday morning trading.