Campaigners Call For A Ban On Escort Site That Lets Users Rate Women Like TripAdvisor

A new Change.org petition says Escort Ireland's review section shouldn't be allowed.

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Escort review sites are nothing new. With names like Adultfax and The Erotic Review, they've most definitely been a thing for a while.

Yet Chloe McKintyre (not her real name) has launched an online petition calling on the Department of Justice to outlaw the 'vile and exploitative' rating and reviews of women on escort websites. At present date, it has attracted more nearly 16,000 signatures.

The sex trade/escort website 'Escort Ireland' is the company she's taking aim at, which advertises the services of women on its website and gives men the opportunity to rate the experience including star ratings for 'physical appearance', 'value for money', 'accuracy of photos', 'satisfaction', 'location' and 'overall experience'.

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As McKintyre explains, it is illegal in Ireland to purchase sex, and she believes this platform which 'enables and encourages' and 'promotes illegal behaviour should be abolished'. Under the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act, the advertising of brothels or prostitution is illegal.

The petition included excerpts from reviews which included derogatory statements from reviewers.

Women featured on the site do have the option to 'opt out' of reviews, yet this can be deemed untrustworthy in the eyes of 'punters', who go on to review them in the 'community section' anyway, says McKintyre.

The author of the petition told The Irish Times she hopes the signatures will raise awareness of the 'exploitative reviews' used to describe women online.

'I do not want to live in a world where women can be objectified and commoditised. Where our sexuality can be rated in stars. I do not want to live in a world where inequality and abuse is normalised or brushed under the carpet.'

In a statement, a spokesperson for Escort Ireland told MailOnline: 'Each escort on the website has taken a personal decision on whether they wish to receive reviews.

'Our opinion into whether this is "degrading" is irrelevant - we respect the free and independent choice of our advertisers.

'They can choose to opt-out of reviews completely, or choose to allow only non-explicit reviews. We respect their own individual decisions.'

However, a spokeswoman from Ugly Mugs (an app which allows sex workers to share information about clients in order to improve safety), isn't so sure a ban is a good thing. She told the Irish News that reviews and sex work websites allow, to some extent, women to work safely.

She continues: 'Sex workers rely on websites as one means of meeting clients in a safer environment. Things like review systems allow sex workers to have some knowledge of a client, when they are taking a booking from a client they can look at that clients reviews and it's a way of gaining information about that person so they are useful to sex workers for safety purposes generally.'

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