The popular dating site Einkamál has said that ads for prostitution are strictly forbidden on their site, and that they want to work more closely with the Education and Counselling Centre for Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Violence (Stígamót).
Earlier this week, a group calling itself Big Sisters held a press conference at Iðnó, describing themselves as an underground operation waging war against prostitution. To do so, they placed advertisements on popular dating sites Einkamál and Rauða Torgið, and in the newspaper Fréttablaðið. In all, the women collected 56 full names, 117 phone numbers and some e-mail addresses, all of which they handed over to the police.
Einkamál has now responded, saying that any advertisement for prostitution or those seeking a prostitute are strictly forbidden. They cannot, however, have control over what people say to each other once they meet on the site and move the conversation to MSN or Facebook, nor do they monitor private messages between users on the site, “just as a phone company does not have the right to monitor phone conversations”.
Nonetheless, the owners of Einkamál say they have put substantial funds into software that scans their site for such ads, and that they have worked with the police in the past over ads people have placed on their site. They added that they want to work with Stígamót in the fight against prostitution.
Police are still uncertain whether or not they can even use any of the documents Big Sisters gave the police. Friðrik Smári Björgvinsson, the supervisor of the investigations department of the capital area police, also said, “I am of the opinion that it is never good when civilians take the law into their own hands. But I welcome the fact that people are showing this issue attention, and trying to stem the demand for sex services. But people need to do it in the right way, and the right parties need to conduct the investigations.”