The managers of A Small World, an invite-only social network backed by movie producer Harvey Weinstein and billed as "MySpace for millionaires," is worried — and not just because the company's financial footing is less than secure. Relying on luxury advertising, the site's revenue mainstay, is looking dicey. Meanwhile, the site has become a haven for wealthy men looking to spend some time with beautiful women while jetting in and out of ritzy destinations. Most of the young women on the site aren't powerful business figures. But they're not exactly "sex workers": After all, it ruins the illusion for a man if he feels he's paying for moments of shared intimacy. "Party girl" is probably a more apt description (think Audrey Tatou in Priceless or San Francisco's first lady Jennifer Siebel in Mad Men). The proliferation of wealthy playboys and those chasing them puts the startup social network in a bind.A Small World can start charging for introductions, as some dating sites do. But if it helps arrange the wrong kind of hookup, it could potentially run afoul of pimping and pandering laws. Or it could prudishly kick socioeconomically unqualified women off the site and risk losing the male users who love them (for at least as long as their money holds out). Valleywag's solution? Far from shooing women without their own trust funds off the site, A Small World should let them stay. Better yet, have them invite suitable friends, and let them join A Small World for free. Meanwhile, charge the men healthy fees for membership, and let users continue to make discreet arrangements between consenting adults. Everyone wins!
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