Are you a 'Potential Prostitute?' If you don't know what that means, then you obviously haven't heard about the latest internet crazeÂ—labeling innocent women as hookers and then shaking them down for money to take it all back. A website known as PotentialProstitutes.Com is in the headlines for this reason, and the negative attention they're receiving is well deserved.
Basically this website operates under the claims (eye roll) that they're doing a public service to help stop online prostitution (think Craigslist or Backpage, to name a few). However, as the Huffington Post points out, it seems that this is actually an exercise in forcing innocent women to pay for the removal of harmful libel. The FAQ section of the website also makes it clear that they are not interested in removing the profiles of falsely accused women unless they pay up, and the price is rather steepÂ—$99.95!
So basically, you can find beef with someone you don't like online and if you have enough information on themÂ—and a photoÂ—you can submit these details and then they too will be referred to as a 'Potential Prostitute' until they pay this steep price for removal. Sadly, by then the damage may be done, especially if the profile of the victim is screencapped and shared via social networking enough. It does indeed seem as though this website is operating with cruel intentionsÂ—not the benign mission they claim to have on their front page. And the worst part about it is that the site is registered to unknown owners in Sweden, so it's unlikely that it will be shut down or stopped anytime soon.
Photo: IMGR/Chelsea Hoffman 2012
Crime analyst, profiler & future criminologist Chelsea Hoffman can be found on Huffington Post or Chelsea Hoffman: Case to Case. You can follow her on Twitter @TheRealChelseaH or contact her via her personal blog. Fan the Facebook page for updates on missing persons cases, issues in civil rights and details on Chelsea's fiction works.