Posted by: nickgerlich | March 12, 2008

Dark Side of the Boon

They say that every rose has its thorns. And even though that orb that lights up the evening sky is quite pretty, it also has a dark side.

So it should as no surprise then that e-commerce also has its darker sides. We are all well aware of the massive online pornography industry, and no doubt most are aware of offshore gambling opportunities. But did you know that men could also place their orders for prostitutes online?

SpitzerJust in case that was a secret, the cat is now out of the bag. And New York Governor Elliot Spitzer has some “splaining” to do. Turns out the honorable Guvna is involved with an online call girl operation, and has also been one of its best customers. These are not cheap walking-the-boulevard kind of prostitutes, mind you. Nope, these are top dollar ladies of the night who fetch into the thousands of dollars to turn a quickie.

If you can imagine this, the supposedly happily married Spitzer has spent about $80,000 on an infidelity fling of such grand porportions that it should have him packing up to leave Albany any minute now. was the online home to his shenanigans. The site, now off the web, offered email confirmations and premium content for its elite customers.

But what’s worse is that the site was built by a Texas web design firm who specializes in call girl operations. No, Spitzer is not the only one; he’s just the latest to get caught. Prostitution, the world’s oldest profession, has taken a decidedly technological turn and raised the bar.

Last time I checked, prostitution is illegal in most places (Clark County Nevada outside Las Vegas comes to mind as an exception, as I have seen the billboards for the brothels near Pahrump). So how can a web design firm that specializes in such activities not also be implicated in these schemes?

While I do not doubt that prostitution will never die, I find these applications of e-commerce deplorable. They almost make Twitter appear to have a socially redeeming value.

Dr “Resign Now!” Gerlich


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