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Directory Ethics

What to know how those advertisers are run?

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If you're a client, you won't understand how many cold contacts we get from brand new "directories" (I use this term loosely) that offer something "new and different" (they don't) to advertisers - think of it like telemarketers, except they prey upon desperation rather than relying on sales pitches. Listen, spammers, we don't need any more directories. We are also not going to pay your directory if you have no traffic. We don't like directories run by punters, we don't like directories who don't bloody listen to us when we say "this is wrong, please change it". Guys, maybe invest some time into market research before thinking you know better and arrogantly going ahead with a project that relies on making money specifically from a marginalised minority group.

Why you don't want your ads outside of your control, and a quick guide on how to get them removed can be found here.

An edit, 21st October 2018: It has come to my attention that some sad individuals on punting forums think that people who read my blog might be unaware of my affiliation with Crockor. I'll declare it here then: I am unofficially the COO of Crockor (yes, no E, this is not my site), and ethically, they're above board. They charge nothing to post ads, $2 to bump one to the top, and $5 to feature one for a week. They're all sex workers. None of us are actually profiting from it yet, despite the work we put in. I feel perfectly able to comment on the ethical standing of many other directories without being hypocritical. If you don't believe this is correct, send me an email!

So, without further ado, here are some directories that I don't like - and by "I", I actually mean "we", because where do you think I got most of this data? From other sex workers who are sick and tired of being contacted by these time wasting cold callers, or sick of seeing unethical operators getting traffic. I'm not linking them to boost their SEO, and I'm not going to make any comments that could get me sued, but you can read between the lines.

Around Midnight

Run by a guy from Punter Planet, Nigel Thornberry.

Website is AroundMidnight.com

Cold texted hundreds of escorts on August 10th 2018 (number: 0488 826 353), refused to give any information about who ran the site. It's registered with no name, using Netregistry Pty Ltd (not FOSTA safe), the listed PO box is in NSW. Honestly think they're "changing the industry" by making it easier for people to access services. Congratulations, you're not. When I asked about their SEO, they had the nerve to tell me that I should help, but somehow couldn't tell me what incentive I could possibly have to help. They cannot demonstrate how they are different, either. Also, their logo is an exploding condom like how is that a good thing. This is a punter trying to make cash off sex workers. Next.

Let me know if they start stealing ads though.

adlist24

Registered with address from China.

Website is adlist24.com

Constantly cold texting us, and they steal ads as well. You don't have to steal ads to get started as a directory if you really are worthwhile and have the industry's support, FYI. I don't know who runs it, but not someone who has talked to sex workers before, definitely. No SEO, just like all the rest. They're completely unresponsive to C&Ds too.

Go straight to reporting to their host: legalservices@eurodns.com

Pink Pages

Registered by one Krystle Fong, here are their ABN details, they're apparently run out of Parramatta.

Website is PinkPages.com.au

Emailing sex workers about their new directory with incorrect information. Their "account manager" (I question this position, since the guy is a fitness instructor according to his Facebook) is one Sean Mcaleese, who was the one sending emails - and he had the nerve, with basically no SEO and nothing to offer, to quote $600 for nine months of "front page" advertising. Keep in mind that they have shit all traffic, and that this email came out of the blue. It's audacious enough to cold contact escorts with free* listings (*free for two months and then pay us for doing nothing to improve the site and rankings), but to charge upfront is laughable. Here's their parent company LinkedIn page.

Kaaktus

Run by Neo Nazi and all round nasty human Simon Hickey.

Website is Kaaktus.com

You've seen this one on my Twitter, probably, because they send truly offensive emails to people who simply want their stolen ads removed. They steal ads from Scarlet Blue (who have dealt with it through their legal team, so likely he isn't stealing from there anymore), and a few other websites. He runs Smerff Electrical in Brisbane, and is apparently also a punter that sex workers avoid - so he's exactly not the person anyone wants running a directory. Once again, a zero SEO site that is trying to attract legitimate ads to make money, using our images.

If your ads are up there and you can handle his disgusting response: kaaktusmail@post.com

If you cannot be goddamn bothered: domainabuse@tucows.com

Skokka

Website is Skokka.com.au - they have international sites as well.

One of the first ones here I'm going to say: advertise on it if you need to or want to, because they may actually get you bookings. Perhaps avoid paying them actual money though. They make this list because they steal ads, prolifically. They also reply to your request that the ad be removed with "oh we didn't do that" form emails, when we all know they did.

Email: support.au@skokka.com

Or to their host directly: abusecomplaints@markmonitor.com

Punter Planet

Run by Andy J, a European expat and punter. He apparently doesn't punt here in Aus though.

Website is PunterPlanet.com

Another of the "advertise here if you need or want to" bunch, but I'll refer you strongly to my Review Culture blog, and note that the fees are around $200 per month. Which is going straight back into the pocket of someone with extremely questionable ethics (fight me, Andy). The fact that it's punter run, and it's full of unhealthy nastiness is why it's on the list - at least no secret is made of the fact that the owner is/was a client.

They're unethical, and the owner has demonstrated time and time again that he doesn't believe sex workers have any intelligence, nor does he really much care whether we're put in danger. He's a sexist - probably also racist, given what he allows to be posted on his site without consequence. He refuses to appropriately moderate reviews to ensure personal information isn't released, and instead poorly handles it after the fact, if and only if someone catches it and reports it. Most workers who know about his irrelevant website know that he's an unethical shitheel. Pay him money at your own risk - he has the personal details on your credit card.

YesBackpage

Run by Backpage Credits.

Website is YesBackpage.com

These guys are mostly targeting Americans for advertising, but somehow we're all getting their stupid emails too. Backpage Credits ripped off thousands of sex workers to the tune of... oh, I don't know, honestly so much goddamn money. I'm sure I have the evidence tucked away somewhere, but in the meantime, my friend Phoenix from the USA has a blog on this. Don't advertise with them unless you absolutely must. They're scummy as all hell, and yes, they're asking for payment (but you get x amount of time free and we'll give you x credits to start up! -- this is a classic marketing technique to get you to sign up).

Belle La Femme

Run by a guy from Punter Planet as well, Spotty Dog.

Looks like this one is offline, but just be aware that might come back - BelleLaFemme.com

Not only did this guy fail to do any market research before making his website, or keep a sex worker on retainer for any kind of advice, he obviously didn't bother to take any French lessons either. The website looks at least prettier than a lot of the others.

The shittiest thing about this was that he not only cold contacted, but he made it look like the messages were coming from Cracker, five days after Cracker had shut down - "Hey, I know you're scared, please rely on my website that will make you pay later on and I'll make you think is a safe space but is actually run by a potential Ugly Mug". If this isn't opportunistic, predatory nastiness... especially coming from someone who should know how bad it was going to be for workers. He actually advertised as "high traffic", what a joke.

Babes 24H

No idea who runs it, but registrant address is in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Website is Babes24H.com

Literally just a scam. Cold contacting us a lot, and their unsubscribe button does not work - by the way, they haven't fixed this since being told, of course. Looks like a whole bunch of stolen images on their front page.

For ad takedown, though this looks like an email they don't check: babes24h.com@domainsbyproxy.com

For when the above inevitably does not work: abuse@godaddy.com

Escort Directory

Registered with an address from Panama.

Website is EscortDirectory.com - no, I'm serious.

Congratulations on the totally unimaginative name. They make the list for cold messaging back in June! I have no doubt they're also trying to capitalise off FOSTA/Backpage shutting down, and they're mainly targeting America for their ads - but of course, why wouldn't they want Australia to jump on board? They have a WhatsApp number too, but it seems not to be linked to anything: 0041791996231.

Backpage.tel

Owned by Sergey Ivochin, who has no idea of the sex industry.

Website is Backpage.tel

This guy was more sneaky with his shit marketing. He texted pretending to be a client, and then said he found you on that website - it's not that they're stealing ads, it's that he's the site owner and he's trying to get you to go and have a look since it's "getting business". Skeevy tactic. I chatted to him for a bit, which is how I know that he knows exactly nothing about sex work. I don't even think he's a punter.

Anyway, he seems to have gotten bored with the project, but here is the number he was texting from: 0415 623 645.

Escort Page

ABN leads to the Sardea Family Trust, and one Rowel Sardea.

Website is EscortPage.com.au

If you thought "escort directory" was unimaginative... They were texting from this number: 0428 995 202, instead of from an online mass texting tool. They're using the OSClass platform, but no effort has been put into making this any good.

For removal of ads: webmaster@escortpage.com.au

And if he doesn't reply nicely: abuse@synergywholesale.com

Australia Pages

Run by Hendri Tjung.

Website is AustraliaPages.com.au

Found these guys after doing to usual Google of my number to make sure people weren't stealing my ads, and voila! This bloke had stolen a bunch of ads from Crockor. I made him take them down, of course he denied all responsibility and said "other users" must have posted them. Obviously no SEO at all, just an idiot who thought he could make a quick buck out of us.

Here's his personal email: hello@henryhanz.com

And the contact for DMCA takedowns: private@austdomains.com.au

Langtrees

The most prolific brothel chain in Australia.

Website is Langtrees.com

Two days after Backpage was seized, these guys bragged via cold contact that their traffic had tripled, and you should make yourself a profile. They're already well known in sex worker circles for being extremely problematic towards their workers, so this is honestly the icing on the cake. Perhaps they had good intentions, but minus a thousand points for the immediate money grab with no empathy for those with no income after the seizure - you know they're not offering anything for free. The numbers, just for Google indexing: 0449 149 916, and 0406 514 793.

24/7 Escorts

Owned by one Adrian Rodriguez Soto, which is a business name, and for anyone who browses male escorts on Scarlet Blue... you might find it suspiciously interesting.

Website is 247escorts.com.au

It's a nice website, but they're getting pinged for being grossly opportunistic in the wake of the Backpage shutdown (A DAY after), and for cold contacting with promises of good traffic (they have none). Texting from 0467 002 238 - which is a spam number, that lots of shitty companies use to cold contact people, judging by the complaints on it online.

Australia Cracker

Run by Aleksandar Stajic.

Website is AustraliaCracker.com.au

Yet another person obviously capitalising on Cracker's downfall by poorly trying to leapfrog on their SEO rankings and well known name, this bloke is stealing images as well and whacking his own shitty watermark on them. So if you want to contact him to tell him your ads don't belong on there, his personal email address is: alekstajic@bigpond.com. Please bombard him, he's been stealing things as recently as today.

Or just go straight to the complaints place: private@austdomains.com.au

Cracker Escorts

No name, but address is in Ontario, Canada.

Website is CrackerEscorts.org

At this point it's like they've checked every permutation of the most obvious keywords. They've been cold calling from 0455 516 789, which seems to be a number purchased specifically for these purposes.

Email: admin@crackerescorts.org

Or, screw them, here's the host: registrar-abuse@google.com

Charming Escorts

No name, but address is in Arizona, USA.

Website is CharmingEscorts.co

Cold contacted a bunch of escorts with a mass online text tool, and included several links. PLEASE never click these kind of links, it is extremely likely they are phishing for your data.

Host contact: abuse@godaddy.com

Ozcorts

Run by one Sam Rettke from Perth, WA

Website is Ozcorts.com.au

More cold texting from a worthless website no one has heard of to drum up business from a marginalised community - from a mass texting online tool with no response available. This one comes with the additional hilarity of an expired ABN and ACN, cancelled Nov 2017. It wouldn't be complete without weird capitalisation and grammar throughout the entire site, a generic logo, and of course, likely scraped ads. Kudos for the clever name though, that's a pretty good portmanteau. 

Owner contact: sam@rettke.com.au

Host contact: abuse-contact@publicdomainregistry.com

After Hours Pleasure

An app that claims to be the "Uber for Escorts" (hahahaha, we've heard this dozens of times, and it always fails miserably, plus this is more comparable to AirTasker), when asked about several concerns with their platform, their answers outlined this:

1. Clients post a request and escorts bid for it. The owner says he thinks escorts charge too much and the bids would, of course, be lower than this in general.

2. They live track you with GPS like Uber Eats. Hell no.

3. They process the payments (using legit banking facilities... but this goes against their merchant's T&Cs, so good luck idiot), and release the money to the workers afterwards. SO many issues with this.

4. They require ID. This can fuck all the way off.

5. They provide workers only with an image of the client. No number, no screening details... nothing. Given that these people wouldn't be allowed within 100 miles of a SW only space, I'm sure they have no idea about how we appropriately screen clients. They also have now removed our ability to use our gut feelings (which, scarily often, prove correct).

6. Aaaand they want our banking details.

No further details on this one, this is just a warning to let you know if they message you, you can tell them to get into the nearest dumpster, where they belong.

Pimp List

Run by Chris Willis of Unique Media (UniqueMedia.com.au, no backlinks for you) - in Manly

Website is PimpList.com.au

Yes, that is really what they're calling themselves, which is next level revolting. They're offering "free ads, for a limited time only" which tells me that they're going to make you pay before they even get any traffic. Great business model, once again charging a marginalised group and giving them nothing in return.

If anyone else has details of shitty spammers or dodgy platforms, please let me know and I'll list them here. My post Backpage post got great SEO, so hopefully this one will as well and it'll come up when people search for the directories, so others can make informed choices.

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