Since the online classifieds website Craigslist recently shut down its “Adult Services” section — which contained many ads for prostitutes — sex-seeking men have increasingly been turning to another Internet source: Facebook.
Columbia University sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh found that of the
290 New York City sex workers he studied, 83 percent rely on Facebook to lure customers.
His study might raise the question: When will the first political figure be ensnared in a sex scandal after a Facebook “friend” is shown to be a working girl.
Internet communication has already ensnared Rep. Christopher Lee. The married New York Republican resigned after it was revealed that he had responded to an ad in Craigslist’s “Women Seeking Men” section, and sent a shirtless photo of himself to a woman online.
Lee joined a list of political figures forced from office over a sex scandal, which includes former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who resigned amid disclosures of his dealings with prostitutes.
Venkatesh wrote on Wired: “The Internet and the rise of mobile phones have enabled some sex workers to professionalize their trade.
“Today they can control their image, set their prices, and sidestep some of the pimps, madams, and other intermediaries who once took a share of the revenue.”
Venkatesh estimates that by the end of this year, “Facebook will be the leading online recruitment space” for sex workers.
The New York Daily News reported: “Even a quick search of the uber-popular social networking site reveals a trove of sex-charged profiles.”
Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes told the News that the site takes stern action against anyone who uses it for illegal purposes.
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