A new site called <Potential Prostitutes allows anyone to anonymously upload any woman's photo and contact information, accusing them of prostitution. They demand $100 from each woman to take the listing off their site. If that's not extortion, I don't know what is.
This is so impossibly wrong at so many levels that my head is exploding in a big bang of swearing and killing instinct.
The site lists alleged "convicted prostitutes" along with women who in theory have no criminal record whatsoever. Every entry includes the woman's photo, name and telephone number.
We tried the site submission system ourselves and, indeed, anyone can send any photo, add the name and contact information, and upload it. What's even worse: the uploader doesn't have to provide any contact information whatsoever. There's zero accountability for the asshole who does this. In fact, the owners of the site are even proud of their methods:
Currently we operate based on the efforts from motivated members of their local community who have at one point or another come into contact with a potential prostitute online and feel they can be a threat. All of our offenders have been reported by local members who feel these offenders should be taught a lesson before their actions escalate.
"Offenders should be taught a lesson before their actions escalate." I had to read that last sentence a few times to make sure these bigots are so openly self-righteous and hypocritical. Why hypocritical? Because if the "offender" pays $100, everything is forgiven. They take her file out of the site.
The site argues that the Communications Decency Act protects their actions. This is the same law that protects any site—like Facebook, Tumblr or Gizmodo—from any legal action in case any user posts anything that may break the law or attack a third party. The difference is that, if a user of one of these sites posts anything that can be legally prosecuted, the sites will immediately take the content down and collaborate with law enforcement and the victim to get the criminal.
In the case of this site, which is designed exclusively to shame women in the name of fake puritanism, they will demand $100 from the abuse victim before taking down the file.
And the thing doesn't stop there. Here's another paragraph from their site:
We've been saying it for a long time and proving it even longer, our operations are professional, effective and one of a kind. Thanks to our brave visitors for stepping forward to tell the world what it should already know, that exposing online prostitute discourages other potential offenders from doing the very same thing.
No, you are not professional. And yes, you are one of a kind, a bunch of hypocritical assholes who are basically extorting women based on nothing but anonymous accusations. I can't wait for the feds to bury you into the ground deep and hard. [The Daily Dot]