Tuesday 16 August 2016

Online Prostitution Industry Exposed as 80% of Deals are Done Online Using Underground Sites

A study has found that pimps are adopting new technologies and employing online marketing strategies that are generating a whooping average annual income for the prostitution industry. 

The sale of s*x has shifted online, as pimps are now using underground websites, social media and mobile apps to conduct business
The sale of s*x has shifted online, as pimps are now using underground websites, social media and mobile apps to conduct business.
A study found that pimps are adopting new technologies and employing online marketing strategies that are generating an annual income of about $75,000 to $100,000.
Following interviews with 71 pimps, researchers discovered that these procurers hide their illegal services under massages or dates on websites in order to communicate with clients.
How we buy things has drastically changed since the birth of the World Wide Web, as most consumers can purchase anything they want with a few clicks of a mouse.
Prostitution seems to be falling right behind retail stores, as about 80 percent of all sales of sex are now conducted online. 'We found that pimps are exploiting the anonymity that new technology and websites allow,' said Mary Finn, lead author of the study and director of MSU's School of Criminal Justice.
'For police, targeted enforcement of the virtual world appears to have very limited potential to deter pimps from managing and advertising the services of sex workers.'
This major shift has forced Law Enforcement to monitor sites that are popular among the public, especially Craigslist and Backpage.
A majority of the pimps interviewed by Michigan State University and Loyola University Chicago said they conduct business on both of the highly monitored sites, but in a way that isn't obvious.
These procurers hide the services under offers for messages or dates, for example. And with the boom of specialty websites, these pimps use their own language, symbols and disingenuous photos to advertise their services and communicate with customers.

'They even have mobile apps now so when you're in a city and you want to know if there is a prostitute nearby, you type in your address and it will give you the locations. So the technology they are using to market the sale of sex is pretty phenomenal,' Finn said.
The 71 pimps involved in the study were recruited the same way they find their clientel – ads placed on Backpage. And although this may sound risky, Finn noted that pimps offer strangers illegal services, so conducting interviews with two researchers is 'just another business risk'.
This study suggests that law enforcement can only focus so much on attacking prostitution.
These agencies have limited resources and personnel, which only allows them to target the most egregious cases of exploitation first, such as those involving sex trafficking and minors.
As long as the demand is there for illicit sex services, there will most likely be a market for it, Finn suggested.

'Targeting prostitution is going to have a minimal effect until we decide how we want to regard the sale of s*x,' Finn said. 'If our primary concern is the exploitation of vulnerable people, maybe we need to start thinking about why it is that people go into the sale of sex to begin with.'
'Generally it's because they can make a lot of money, with having very little skill, that they can't make other places. So it boils down to having creative economic opportunit

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