CBS Philly recently did an undercover story in which they went disguised as a “John” to see a hooker that was advertising on Twitter.
They found out that prostitutes were using Twitter to advertise, and to even set up appointments.
Their hidden camera team set up an appointment with a hooker at a Motel in Wilmington, Delaware by communicating with her exclusively on Twitter. The met with another in Cherry Hill, NJ, also listing her availability on Twitter.
According to CBS Philly, these prostitutes are constantly tweeting to tell prospective clients where they are, and when they will be available: “She posted tweets like: ‘Philly, I’m back for 2 days only’ or ‘One more day til my AC Trip,’ advising her followers to ‘book early.'”
Their investigation took them to Mount Laurel Police Detective Ed Pincus, who said his department didn’t have enough resources to crack down on them: “We don’t have the manpower to be out there doing this non-stop. We could be.”
“It gives [prostitutes] that ability to reach their customers immediately,” says Rob D’Ovidio, a cyber crime expert at Drexel University to CBS Philly. “If it’s a slow day, and they want to lure in customers, they can quickly get that blurb out there, half price specials, happy hour specials.”
Really this should come as no surprise. Social Media is a way to connect people. Odds are someone out there is going to use new communication channels like Twitter to illicit sex.