Wednesday, January 2, 2013

"Prostitute" Web Site is New Way to Make Internet Evil

You gotta hand it to the large population of creeps on the Internet. They never stop finding ways to be evil.

The latest example is a site called Potential Prostitutes. According to BoingBoing, the site purports to list women who are prostitutes. But any woman can be labeled a "prostitute" on this site. All someone has to do for reasons maybe involving revenge, is submit information about the woman in question, and the site puts them up.

Taking things a step deeper into evil, the site operators will allow people to have their names and information removed from the site, but only if they pay a hefty "removal fee." Judging by how creepy this looks, I'd bet operators of  "Potential Prostitutes" won't scrub information on people who do submit money.

There's really no end to how many sites can pop up. People would just hack into anybody's Facebook, email or anything else, invent a "crime" these innocent people committed, put that information up, and screw up lives of people trying to find jobs, or keep families happy. (We know employers Google all of us when we apply for jobs, certainly these sites would pop up on the HR Department's radar)

The optimist in me says that so many of these awful, accusatory web sites will pop up that nobody will take them seriously, and you'd like to think would be employers, spouses, etc. would want more proof than what's on  a creepy web site.  

Still, people will be fearful enough of these sites to send hard-earned money to these criminals to have themselves removed from the sites.

The pessmist in me is that we will all have to pay some sort of "tax," paying money to shadowy scam artists to scrub a whole bunch of awful lies about us online. Or, we keep the money and hope nobody believes the crap that's out there.

And what of people who appear on these sites who have been convicted of prostitution, sex offenses, or anything else?

You do the crime, you do the time, goes the adage. And that's good. But what if somebody does something stupid when they're 17, get a conviction., but then 10 years later are totally on the straight and narrow?

These web sites would continually punish them, long after the statute of limitations expires, or even long after the criiminal record has been wiped clean by the courts due to continued excellent behavior.

Apparently, it's hard to find the people who would run web sites like "Potential Prostitutes," because they don't exactly advertise who they are, and they operate in countries with weak law enforcement or libel laws.

I generally don't like the idea of vigilantism and on line revenge. But there are plenty of "good guy" hackers out there who are adept at finding people who do things like create "potential prostitute" sites on line.

The "good guys" can probably give the evil web site operators a taste of their own medicine, and put their names, addresses, locations, employers etc. on line for all of us to see.

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