I’m a BIG FAN Croydon. The people and places in my local borough are all very dear to my heart and it is a robust, effervescent community. However, it would be incredibly remiss of me to downplay Croydon’s seedy underbelly.
Croydon is one of the biggest ports for human-trafficking in the UK. There are also several brothels active in the area that are fronted as legitimate businesses.
In light of this, it is not surprising that last week tweets like these started to turn up on the Croydon twitterfeed:
Reactions from local Tweeters ranged from jocular:
To the positively outraged (disclaimer – this isn’t me):
To be clear: Prostitution is not illegal in England. Brothels are however and any establishment where more than one prostitute works on the premises constitutes a brothel.
Having not clicked any of the links I don’t know the exact details of these tweets. Whether they are advertising the services of one prostitute, a brothel or simply leading to pornographic material, you can see from other people’s reactions that it is not the sort of stuff people wish to have in the public domain.
Further confounding the problem, is the fact that @croydonfeed is a bot programmed to retweet periodically any tweet that contains the #croydon hastag. As such, it provides an invaluable service in curating Croydon-related news but is unmoderated, unmanned and does not fall under the duristriction of any particular person (I’m not sure who set it up) or authority.
The issue then is not just of morality but also one of regulation. Not simply should we stop this sort of tweet but can we?
My two questions are:
- What do you think about adult services and material being advertised on Twitter?
- How can we stop the [automated] proliferation of such material? (is it a technological or legal issue?)