Facebook removes 'gay sex for rent' posts

Man sat on a bed Image copyright Getty Images

Facebook has removed a group in which landlords were offering young men free accommodation in return for sex.

A BuzzFeed News investigation found dozens of UK posts on Facebook, Craigslist and RoomBuddies offering men a place to live in return for sex.

Offering accommodation in exchange for sex is illegal under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Facebook and RoomBuddies said they removed such adverts when they were reported.

BuzzFeed News found posts on several sites including Facebook, created by men seeking "houseboys" or "live-in personal assistants".

Many of the posts were explicit about the nature of the agreement. "This position would ideally include sex and lots of affection from our boy," said one post.

"You will clean and provide sexual services in return for free accommodation and board," said another.

The news site also found posts from those desperate to find accommodation who had turned to Facebook as a last resort.

"Willing to [go] where ever I'm needed," said one man from Florida. "Nowhere to go."

In February, the BBC spoke to several women who had been offered free accommodation in return for sex.

However, BuzzFeed News reporter Patrick Strudwick said gay men were also being "lured into these arrangements" with "often devastating consequences".

He spoke to one man who had failed to qualify for council housing because he was single and childless. Mr Strudwick said it was "a common barrier for gay men". The man was raped several times by his landlord.

Facebook told BuzzFeed News it had spent "a long time looking into this" and that posts offering free accommodation in return for sex "violate Facebook's standards".

RoomBuddies said it removed such posts when they were reported or spotted by moderators.

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