(Image Source: Fulloma)



BY JASMINE BAILEY


A new website is stirring up controversy all over the internet and it’s been dubbed “The Worst Website Ever” by New York Magazine— its name? “Potential Prostitutes.”



This site lets anyone anonymously submit the picture, phone number and address of a said ‘Potential Prostitute.’ And the woman's information will stay public until she pays a $100 dollar fee to have it removed.


In the site's mission statement it says—
“Thanks to our brave visitors for stepping forward to tell the world what it should already know, that exposing online prostitute[s] discourages other potential offenders from doing the very same thing.”


Brave visitors, huh? A writer for Gizmodo has a different take on the kind of people likely to post on the site.


“If that's not extortion, I don't know what is... What's even worse: the uploader doesn't have to provide any contact information whatsoever. ... This means that any butthurt douchebag may be able to defame his ex-girlfriend or ex-wife.”


A writer for Jezebel says there have been name and shame sites before, like Cheaterville, but this one is notable for how it portrays the women who get uploaded.


“Potential Prostitutes is more disturbing than the others I've come across because it treats sex workers as if they were sex offenders — the site literally calls them ‘offenders.’ … Yes, sure, prostitution is illegal practically everywhere, but how exactly is a sex worker a threat on the internet?”


But the biggest question with this one is — is a site like this actually legal?


The website claims they’re protected under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.


The law essentially says if a website’s users post defamatory material, the owner and operator of the website can’t be held responsible.


The website also claims it’s already been sued — and that it won every case. But a law blogger tells BoingBoing that’s probably not true, since the site was only registered in October. What’s more, Section 230 only protects the site if it’s actually true that the accusations come from users.


“There’s reason to question whether the content is actually user-submitted, or whether the purveyors put it in themselves, when a brand-new site appears already populated with content.”


If someone wanted to file suit against the site, it’s not clear they could actually identify the owners. The site is registered to a PO box in Sweden, and even that registration could have been falsified.

 

 

New Site Allows Users to Shame 'Potential Prostitutes'

by Jasmine Bailey
0
Transcript
Dec 29, 2012

New Site Allows Users to Shame 'Potential Prostitutes'

 


(Image Source: Fulloma)



BY JASMINE BAILEY


A new website is stirring up controversy all over the internet and it’s been dubbed “The Worst Website Ever” by New York Magazine— its name? “Potential Prostitutes.”



This site lets anyone anonymously submit the picture, phone number and address of a said ‘Potential Prostitute.’ And the woman's information will stay public until she pays a $100 dollar fee to have it removed.


In the site's mission statement it says—
“Thanks to our brave visitors for stepping forward to tell the world what it should already know, that exposing online prostitute[s] discourages other potential offenders from doing the very same thing.”


Brave visitors, huh? A writer for Gizmodo has a different take on the kind of people likely to post on the site.


“If that's not extortion, I don't know what is... What's even worse: the uploader doesn't have to provide any contact information whatsoever. ... This means that any butthurt douchebag may be able to defame his ex-girlfriend or ex-wife.”


A writer for Jezebel says there have been name and shame sites before, like Cheaterville, but this one is notable for how it portrays the women who get uploaded.


“Potential Prostitutes is more disturbing than the others I've come across because it treats sex workers as if they were sex offenders — the site literally calls them ‘offenders.’ … Yes, sure, prostitution is illegal practically everywhere, but how exactly is a sex worker a threat on the internet?”


But the biggest question with this one is — is a site like this actually legal?


The website claims they’re protected under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.


The law essentially says if a website’s users post defamatory material, the owner and operator of the website can’t be held responsible.


The website also claims it’s already been sued — and that it won every case. But a law blogger tells BoingBoing that’s probably not true, since the site was only registered in October. What’s more, Section 230 only protects the site if it’s actually true that the accusations come from users.


“There’s reason to question whether the content is actually user-submitted, or whether the purveyors put it in themselves, when a brand-new site appears already populated with content.”


If someone wanted to file suit against the site, it’s not clear they could actually identify the owners. The site is registered to a PO box in Sweden, and even that registration could have been falsified.

 

 

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