December 27, 2012

Let’s all join together in fleeting e-rage over this new public shaming website Potential Prostitutes (h/t NY Mag), a site that sets out to name and shame prostitutes throughout the country. How do they determine who is and who isn’t a prostitute? They don’t, actually, someone simply posts a woman’s photo and information online, and there you go, now you’re a prostitute according to the internet’s vaunted she who smelt it dealt law. Naturally they have been receiving a lot of take down complaints, which the site will be happy to comply with, for a modest fee.

Maybe you don’t want to pay them to remove your photo? How about a law suit then? Not so fast, claims the smarmy, pedantic, shit-eating FAQ. The site, they say, (much like other similar sites who publish user-submitted content that wasn’t intended to be made public, like Is Anyone Up? and its many tit-minded copycats) is protected under the provisions of Communications Decency Act that say they are not responsible for the veracity of user-submitted content. A law like that has its pros and cons, because the entire internet, from Facebook on down, would be consumed in a tornado of litigation otherwise, but this sort of all too common thing seems outside of the spirit of the law. Maybe because it mostly effects women, and they’re all whores anyway, so it doesn’t matter, right?

The site, which was launched in October, as Boing Boing reports, wouldn’t necessarily be protected under the law if they are actually the one posting faux “user submitted” content; they have a suspiciously high number of posts for a relatively new site.

Unlike other shaming sites, which we’re typically in favor of, in which you can actually point to someone who has done something (i.e., a racist shit head being racist) as cause for posting it, this one relies on conjecture and hearsay. Prostitution may be the oldest practice in the world as they say, but calling someone a slut is at least the second or the third.

And since we’re already splitting hairs here, aren’t we all potential prostitutes of one kind of another after all? I mean, except you, that is. No one is going to pay for that mess.

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