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Twitter Getting Heat Over Controversial Escort Ads

Publication Date: 
January 30, 2014
SF Weekly
Rachel Swan

Rock Center Fellow Vivek Wadhwa weighs in on Twitter's approach to advertisements from escorts on their site for SF Weekly.

At a time when Bay Area law enforcement has ramped up its campaign against human trafficking, a large San Francisco tech company might be forestalling their efforts.

According to a new investigative report from online periodical TheStreet, Twitter hosts more than a thousand ads from escorts, sex workers, and even international trafficking rings. Although these accounts violate the prohibitions against pornography and "unlawful use" laid out in Twitter's terms of service, many of them have not been removed.


But tech entrepreneur and researcher Vivek Wadhwa decries Twitter's hands-off approach, arguing that the company has greater responsibility to monitor content, now that it's gone public.

"Twitter is turning a blind eye," Wadhwa says. "When they were a young company, they could get away with it. But they're no longer a young, fledgling start-up; they're a multi-billion dollar company."