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Dennis Hof, Brothel Owner, Blasts LinkedIn's Prostitute Ban

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LinkedIn's new ruling banning members from promoting prostitution or escort services is arousing anger from Dennis Hof, owner of a legal brothel in Nevada.
LinkedIn's new ruling banning members from promoting prostitution or escort services is arousing anger from Dennis Hof, owner of a legal brothel in Nevada.

LinkedIn's decision to prevent prostitutes from using the site to market themselves has one legal brothel owner feeling, well, screwed.

The business networking website announced a new privacy policy and user agreement that prevents members from creating "profiles or providing content from promoting escort services or prostitution."

The new policy has brothel owner Dennis Hof hot and bothered.

Hof owns of the Moonlight Bunny Ranch in Mound House, Nev., where prostitution is legal. He said the LinkedIn policy change is heavy-handed, arbitrary and not fair to people who run law-abiding businesses.

"Are you then going to shut down Steve Wynn's casino in Vegas, where gambling is legal?" Hof asked The Huffington Post rhetorically. "Don't paint me the same as the people who are doing things illegally."

Hof also finds the rules hypocritical because they don't affect porn stars, a high percentage of whom do escorting on the side.

"The FBI says anyone who takes money for sex is a prostitute," he said.

Hof understands the reasoning behind the rule, but said the new rule lacks nuance.

"LinkedIn was enabling illegal prostitution, but they need to go after the sex traffickers and leave us alone," he said.

Hof is now hoping to get his point across to LinkedIn head honchos Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner by having his legal sex workers "twitter jump" on their twitter pages.

"Weiner is a funny name for a guy trying to stop sex," Hof said.

Susan Austin, who runs the Mustang Ranch brothel near Reno, Nev., supports the new ruling.

Austin believes that social networking is a form of advertising, which she said is against the Nevada state statutes regarding prostitution.

"Advertising is against the state statutes and I wouldn't allow my ladies to advertise in any form," Austin told The Huffington Post. "Social media is a gray area that turns ugly fast."

Although the LinkedIn rule change might be designed to prevent prostitutes from soliciting business online, Austin believes that is a good thing.

"It will cut down on predators pretending to be customers," she said.

However, she agrees with Hof that if LinkedIn's ruling is hypocritical towards other forms of sex workers.

"The ruling should cover all sorts of sex work," she said.

Also on The Huffington Post

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