UK Politician's Cross Border Attempt To Terminate Prostitute Review Site Only Bumps Up Traffic

from the nice-advertising dept

There was some news coverage last week of the UK's "equalities minister" (what the hell is that?), Harriet Harman, asking Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to shut down a prostitute review site called Punternet. As many legal commentators pointed out, this was ridiculous for a variety of reasons -- neither Harman nor Schwargenegger had any legal authority to shut down such a site. However, the really ridiculous thing is that all this request did was give the site a ton of attention. In a press release response, Punternet took issue with many of Harman's claims about the site, and then at the end noted how much she had helped the site's traffic:
How much extra traffic did you get on 30 September, the day the story first broke?

Just over 2.7 million hits, more than double the daily average. Here's the graph from my server statistics for September: http://www.punternet.com/daily_usage_200909.png
One must assume that wasn't Harman's intention. But, honestly, it makes you wonder what sort of politician these days doesn't realize that calling for the shutting down of a site will only boost the traffic to that site by a considerable amount.

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  • identicon
    Arthran, 6 Oct 2009 @ 8:11am

    http://forums.hexus.net/general-discussion/172581-harriet-harman-does-again.html
    http://forums.hexu s.net/question-time/141622-harriet-harman-wins-my-first-utter-c-nt-week-award.html

    Harman is well known in the UK for being a waste of public resources. she's been quoted as saying in the house of commons "Surely if anybody can shut down Punternet, its the Terminator"
    She literally has no clue that a) the site isn't illegal, from my understanding it allows people to leave feedback on "services rendered", doesn't advocate or advertise prostitution and b) she can't shut it down! She has no authority to.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Planespotter, 6 Oct 2009 @ 8:15am

    lmao

    Look at the stats for the Pirate Bay everytime someone tries to have it shut down... it always increases.

    Harriet Harman's title is Minister for Women and Equality, how you can be pushing forward a female agenda and also one of equality is beyond me.

    Heavily biased politician that hopefully will be out of a job come the next election.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    thublihnk (profile), 6 Oct 2009 @ 9:02am

    Typo

    Misspelled the Governator's name second time it was used.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    The Infamous Joe (profile), 6 Oct 2009 @ 9:26am

    Illegal?

    Isn't prostitution legal in some places? Wouldn't, therefore, reviewing the, ahem, service you received also be legal?

    Furthermore, if the site has reviews of prostitutes in an area where prostitution is illegal, wouldn't that help you crack down on prostitution in that area?!

    Last thought: It's illegal to charge for sex but perfectly legal to give it away. How does that make sense?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 6 Oct 2009 @ 9:38am

      Re: Illegal?

      Is it legal in some places in the UK, or more specifically in London? I know there are places in the US that are but I don't know about the UK.

      Using the site to crack down on prostitution would make sense but they don't want to look like the condone prostitution by letting the site stay there. The move is mostly to look good.

      Added thought Joe's last thought: Where it is legal in the US, it's much safer for the giver and receiver of the service.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Overcast (profile), 6 Oct 2009 @ 10:07am

      Re: Illegal?

      Isn't prostitution legal in some places? Wouldn't, therefore, reviewing the, ahem, service you received also be legal?

      Nevada & Amsterdam. I'm sure a number of others places too.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Alan Gerow (profile), 6 Oct 2009 @ 10:29am

        Re: Re: Illegal?

        In Nevada, prostitution and gambling are left to county regulations to decide their legality and a county is only allowed to have one or the other.

        So, in Las Vegas (Clark County), gambling (games of skill) is legal but prostitution is not. In the surrounding counties (where the "ranches" are), prostitution is legal but non-slots gambling is not.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Rollthembones, 6 Oct 2009 @ 11:11am

          Re: Re: Re: Illegal?

          So a prostitute is considered slots gambling?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2009 @ 1:45pm

          Re: Re: Re: Illegal?

          The various counties in Nevada do not have to choose between gambling and prostitution. The population of the county is what determines whether or not prostitution is allowed or not. Any county with a pop of over 250k (that # has been played with and may not be current, but the point remains) is not allowed to have cathouses. Any county below that limit can decide on its own to allow or not. I live in an area with casinos and cathouses within a few blocks of each other, several miles from the county line.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), 6 Oct 2009 @ 10:10am

      Re: Illegal?

      "Isn't prostitution legal in some places? Wouldn't, therefore, reviewing the, ahem, service you received also be legal?"

      Well, I can't speak to British law, but I don't see what those two things have to do with each other anyway. Isn't it illegal to create napalm in certain quantities? And yet you see websites discussing it all over the place. Even popular works of fiction have discussed its ingredients (Fight Club). Writing about something illegal can' be illegal in any way I can see.

      "Furthermore, if the site has reviews of prostitutes in an area where prostitution is illegal, wouldn't that help you crack down on prostitution in that area?!"

      Well, yes, but fixing problems isn't the goal of a politician. The goal of a politician is to APPEAR to fix problems and maybe make a slight improvement that one can hilight during the campaign process. Hell, if all the problems were gone, we wouldn't NEED the politicians, and if you don't think they absolutely know that, you're being naive.

      "Last thought: It's illegal to charge for sex but perfectly legal to give it away. How does that make sense?"

      Great question, but I believe stated in a better and funnier way by the late great George Carlin: "Selling is legal, and fucking is legal...so why isn't selling fucking legal?"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        The Infamous Joe (profile), 6 Oct 2009 @ 2:01pm

        Re: Re: Illegal?

        Maybe I misunderstood the basic premise of the site. I assumed from the article that it was some sort of "Yelp" for prostitutes. (Being at work, I opted to not visit the site.)

        So, what I'm saying that a site based in California that allows you to rate your whore should be perfectly legal because there are places in the world that could (maybe?) utilize such a site. If prostitution were illegal everywhere, then the need for a prostitution site would be.. questionable.

        Also, since the in the article that sexist lady for equality (huh?) said that there were reviews for prostitutes *in London* then it would be a good tool to locate those pesky hookers making people happy for money.

        Maybe I'm using too many words here?

        The bitch is dumb. (and not just for the Terminator jokes, either!)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      TheStupidOne, 6 Oct 2009 @ 12:25pm

      Re: Illegal?

      "It's illegal to charge for sex but perfectly legal to give it away."

      Which is why some clever people have started selling "time" with a woman. What happens during that time is up to the person paying for the time and the woman the time is spent with.

      Just like it is legal to make porn, even with yourself as the actor/director. You aren't paying for sex, you are paying for acting ... terrible acting, but still acting.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    www.eZee.se (profile), 6 Oct 2009 @ 10:10am

    Hmm, never even heard of the site... but now am curious.

    Thanks Harriet, I'll go and check it out now!

    Hell! Maybe I'll find a review from one of your old Johns!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Oct 2009 @ 11:44am

    prostitution is legal in the uk. However it is under some strange laws, it is illegal to advertise such (so you cant be selling yourself on the streets), but it is perfectly legal behind closed doors (I would guess strip joints?).

    Thus as far as I can tell, this site should be perfectly legal in the UK. (it has no endorsed content?).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lucretious, 6 Oct 2009 @ 3:50pm

    Of course they don't care about driving traffic to the site. Its about grandstanding for the public. They could be reviewing everything short of kiddie porn and the politicians wouldn't bat an eye.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Graf, 7 Oct 2009 @ 12:40am

    She is well known for being a bit "thick" and arrogant, so it is no surprise to here she doesn't understand the legal issues. She is more known for her ultra PC comments - hence her nickmane as harriet har-person not harman. Plus she might have been trying to get publicity away from her recent charge of driving away from a car accident without reporting it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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