It appears that professional escorts have been using LinkedIn to make professional connections, and the company wants to put a stop to that. LinkedIn has just updated their terms of service and user agreement to add a good amount of new language, but one particular clause is rather interesting. Apparently, LinkedIn doesn’t want you using the service for “escort services or prostitution,” even if such activity is legal in your area.
Here’s the relevant addition to LinkedIn’s terms:
Upload, post, email, InMail, transmit or otherwise make available or initiate any content that, even if it is legal where you are located, create profiles or provide content that promotes escort services or prostitution.
Making the waters murkier, you can actually endorse users for “prostitution” on LinkedIn:
Other skills and expertise “related” to prostitution that LinkedIn offers are “extortion,” “rape,” “forgery,” “robbery” and more criminal activities. It’s clear that these “skills” are not there to endorse the commission of said activities, but for fileds related to those activities like law or social work. But still, you can technically be endorsed for prostitution on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn has always banned the promotion of illegal activities on their network, but it appears that they felt they needed to clarify their terms for legal activities that they find unsavory.
“In the old [user agreement], we had it covered by saying that one could not use a profile to promote anything ‘unlawful,'” a LinkedIn rep told Mashable. “However, in some countries, that activity actually is lawful.”
Sorry, escorts. It looks like you’ll need to find another way to make new contacts.