Tech issues: No room at the LinkedIn for prostitutes; Square bans gun sales; Nintendo game and gay marriage

Today we’re rounding up tidbits of tech “issues” from this week, from guns to prostitution to gay marriage:

• LinkedIn doesn’t want to be the network for the world’s oldest profession. This week, the Mountain View company updated its terms of service. Under the header “Don’t undertake the following,”  there’s No. 8i: “Even if it is legal where you are located, create profiles or provide content that promotes escort services or prostitution.” Some point out that 1. Prostitution is a “skill” for which one can be endorsed on LinkedIn, and 2. Those in the trade legally, such as brothels in Nevada, are miffed: “Legal prostitutes in Nevada are licensed and recognized by their county of employ as independent, taxpaying businesswomen. … Deciding whether or not prostitution is a legal profession in a particular country or state is the responsibility of politicians and their constituents, not the responsibility of LinkedIn,” reads a post on Sheri’s Ranch’s website.

Meanwhile, experts reportedly say “red light districts” seem to flourish on social networks. And as we mentioned last month, prostitutes in Silicon Valley are heavy users of social media for their business needs.

Shades of craigslist and the controversy over “adult services” ads, which it eventually officially kicked out, anyone? (Also, see The Seamy Underbelly Of Craigslist Vs. EBay, Wrapped In A Family-Friendly Package.)

• Let’s go from salacious to Square. The San Francisco payments company also updated its TOS recently, but its ban has a different target: gun sales. Square, founded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, among other things allows users to let their smartphones take credit-card payments. “From time to time we revisit our policies governing the use of Square to ensure they are consistent with our values and in the best interests of our customers,” a company spokeswoman reportedly said. The move comes amid a raging gun-control debate after recent high-profile mass shootings.

• Finally, gay marriage as a glitch? “Tomodachi Collection: New Life,” a simulation game for Nintendo 3DS that’s a hot seller in Japan, reportedly “allowed” gay men to date, marry and raise children. But it’s over now, for Nintendo this week released a patch that among other things addressed “human relations that become strange,” according to a translation of its announcement of the software patch.

Levi Sumagaysay Levi Sumagaysay (4037 Posts)

Levi Sumagaysay is editor of the combined SiliconBeat and Good Morning Silicon Valley. She also helps take care of SiliconValley.com, the Mercury News tech website. Email: lsumagaysay (at) bayareanewsgroup (dot-com).