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Internet Marketing and Morality

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by shailzrocks, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. shailzrocks

    shailzrocks Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    IM with no doubt is very lucrative business for anyone here. We all are making easy money off the internet without much efforts compared to 9-5 or brick mortar biz. We all have our expertise in respective arena and we do strive to expand our horizons to gain maximum. We always want to try and get more and more money out of the market and sometime we don't care if its ruining some one's life/family/home. When talking to people about sweet spots in IM, I realized many are inclined towards promoting PAYDAY LOANS.

    This fuckin Payday is not a boon as an emergency cash but a bane in every possible way. With exorbitant interest rates and blood sucking re-payment it just leaves the borrower feel sorry for his actions. Few states have already banned Online Payday loans company and with the support from major banks hopefully they will stop this nuisance.

    From the times.

    Blinded by money, we marketers knowingly/unknowingly enter into promoting these life ruining loans. This is just one of the million ways by which people are exploited by us. Spamming Large giants is ok, they are more cruel than an individual can ever be. I know people who say they won't work for anything illegal which hurts their religious sentiments but were ready to Payday neglecting the fact its hurting a section of the humanity.

    I know many won't agree with me. But I think its good to have a moral ground and certain boundaries. Its not always to right to crush someone to death for our gains.
     
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  2. rettaibi

    rettaibi Regular Member

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    Agree 100%, when I choose an offer I always think about the offer in terms of does it do damage.
    But you will always have those heartless that bank hard on people by making their life more and more miserable , all they care about is money.

    But on the other hand the people that fill in the offer are fully responsible for what they do, they have brains, they can think, they know that it can hurt them.
     
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  3. VinBed

    VinBed Regular Member

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    Quite a while ago I stopped promoting CPA offers and started building my own software/services/products. It makes me feel better overall since I am not screwing anyone over in any way, and it is generally more profitable.
     
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  4. littlewebdragon

    littlewebdragon Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I need to share something in relation to this...

    My first website that I've made for adsense a loooooong time ago when it all started was "mesothelioma" (we all remember that keyword I guess)... Then some website was about "lung cancer" as that was high paying keyword... And of course there was some copied shitty content as I don't actually know anything about those... Then I was doing lot's of stuff, but those 2 were one of my first tries to make money websites...

    What happens years later is that my father passed away in 2012. having lung cancer.

    After a while I thought about all of that and I know that I'm not going to make websites like those never again. Although when I started I didn't know anything about those (didn't even know what mesothelioma or lung cancer is) all that I cared about is money.

    I'm not going to make website to sell stuff like that. If I ever do it will be 100% ad free and for educational purpose only.

    Now that's HEALTH related.

    But again talking about morality, if I make "money making" website and someone gives his last savings and all that he/she has for that product and he doesn't make to make money, should I feel guilty as I've convinced him that it's good for him/her because of my sales page. I think not, as we all make our own decisions...

    Business and morality will never have their dance together if you ask me.

    Does any tobacco company care because millions of people die of cancer each and every year? Hell no. They will keep selling their product whatever it takes as money is in the game.

    Do people care for each other? No. If they do it's very very very rare case.

    And it's ALL, it's always been, and it will always be about money (in one way or another, take gold for example)!

    "The market has no morality."
    Michael, Lord Heseltine

    "Ministers and merchants love nobody."
    Thomas Jefferson
     
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  5. IamNRE

    IamNRE Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    No one forces people to buy drugs, alcohol, take out loans, sell drugs, join gangs, buy houses they can't afford to pay for if interests should go up etc. etc. etc.

    People are responsible for their own actions and should be accountable for they do.

    I personally prefer not to promote shit like that... but if I did I would not care too much as grown individuals should be accountable/responsible for their own actions, if not, then lets make all of those things illegal and live in a nanny state.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  6. jazzc

    jazzc Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    Voluntary exchange is moral by definition.

    Again, voluntary exchanges. All the smokers I know, know they may die of cancer and still chose to smoke.

    It 's about fulfilling desires.

    Oh, a quote! That settles it. Of course, we take his word, because politicians are famous for their ethics and dedication to the truth. Let 's note how that his economic fortune came after his near bankrupt company was miraculously bought by the state 1 year after he became an MP ;)
     
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  7. ShadeDream

    ShadeDream Elite Member

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    I wouldn't say it's "without much efforts".
     
  8. EddieC123

    EddieC123 Regular Member

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    I'm a smoker myself, I think you'll find for the vast majority of us it's not so much choice as addiction.

    Back on topic, I won't promote payday loans myself as I cannot abide the way they prey on the weak.
     
  9. ShadeDream

    ShadeDream Elite Member

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    In regards to the topic, like our friend mentioned above, I wouldn't really go into a health niche when it comes to something serious.

    I remember quite some time ago, not really sure how long but it's definitely been a few good months, I found a very lucrative (high search, EMD available) keyword to do with eye surgery which I thought would be a great money maker. So before I bought the EMD I started reading up on eye surgery, the side effects, and the fact that it's not guaranteed to work. Depending on the surgery some of the side effects were life long problems which could have become much worse than wearing glasses for the rest of your life. At that point, looking at myself (I wear glasses/contacts), I thought about such consequences and realized that I wouldn't want to experience them myself, and although I knew that the patient should do their own research, not all of the patients are truly informed (by the eye surgeons, not all of them care) of the potential consequences and hence I decided not to be part of someones misfortune.

    Though now that I thought of it, I could of still took on the niche making sure that I fully inform the visitors of the potential consequences. Nevertheless, I don't regret leaving the keyword alone. There's plenty of money to be made elsewhere.
     
  10. tomsko

    tomsko Regular Member

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    Its only addiction if you put it that way. Just quit, I did recently after some cool 5 years.

    And speaking of Payday offers, I'm with IamNRE here, although I might feel sorry. I've never promoted them btw
     
  11. ShadeDream

    ShadeDream Elite Member

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    He who laughs last, laughs longest.
    I don't know about addiction. The majority of smokers don't want to bother with nicotine patches, talk about addiction.
     
  12. jazzc

    jazzc Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    Yes it is, no doubt about it. And most smokers know that. So given that their 's no shortage of knowledge on the dangers of smoking, one would expect a huge market for "smokers' rehabilitation centers" or similar - I don't see any, which means there 's no demand for them, which means people still chose (for their own different reasons) to smoke.
     
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  13. Jonny Quick

    Jonny Quick BANNED BANNED

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    @jazzc: I think a reasonable person recognizes that an unrestricted free market reaches a tipping point where the economy is predatory and oppressive, and the power wielded by the "winner" prevents any competition from taking place. Beyond that, not all people are equal in their ability to make decisions. This is a complex world we live in, and it is cruel to mandate that simple-minded people should always bear direct responsibility for less than optimal decisions they make in complex situations. Sometimes, people DO need to be protected from themselves, and anyone that fails to acknowledge this is an immature and self-centered crackpot whose opinions should be recognized as being self-serving arguments wrapped in the false disguise of concern for the community.

    That's a philosophical point. As far as "How to regulate?", etc... well that's another matter entirely, as there are always unintended consequences and unexpected outcomes to any sort of social mandate, and frequently the cure is worse than the disease.

    I personally have experience with an online "Payday Loan" when I discovered that a friend of mine had gotten a loan for $600 from some russian-based company. They were taking $150 a month from her checking account every month for 4 months before I got involved, and when I did I discovered that the $150 only paid for interest and fees. In 4 months, and after paying $600, the remaining balance on the debt was exactly $600. Meaning that, had I not gotten involved, this person would have been paying $150 a month, every month, for the rest of her life, unless someone else got involved.

    So, what I did was take her to the bank, withdraw all the money, close the account and open a new account. No more russian mafia. She borrowed $600, and she paid $600. If the russian mafia didn't make any money off the loan, well tough shit. They should have made better decisions on how to operate their loan sharking business, right? And, as a member of the public, I don't feel particularly obligated to pay for laws and law enforcement to help the russian mafia to run this kind of business, and in this manner. In fact, I don't feel particularly obligated to pay for law enforcement to investigate, should someone shoot one of the russian mobsters in the cranium, spattering their brain matter all over a computer keyboard. This whole libertarian thing goes both ways. When people choose to do business in a predatory manner, one could make the argument that a office full of dead workers, with blood running out the door and into the sidewalk is a natural consequence of their bad decision-making, and that perhaps next time they'll do business in a less provocative manner.

    To the OP, I think it comes down to the level of consequences incurred by the "consumer". Jesus was wrong. There is a hierarchy to immoral behavior. Murder is worse than theft, and stealing $10,000 is worse than manipulating someone out of $10.00. Some things are CLEARLY WRONG. Other things are less so. What lines to draw, where to draw them, etc... is completely up to the individual. One practical matter to consider when making these kinds of decisions is the idea that "If you don't make this money, someone else will.". Who said "There's a sucker born every minute." and "Never give a sucker an even break." ? In some circumstance, some people deserve to get "screwed", in fact it's even good for them. A learning experience. That which does not kill me makes me stronger, etc...

    In short, I don't think there is ever going to be a universal, commonly accepted answer to any of these kinds of questions. These are matters that are going to have to be figured out by the individual, who will have to live with themselves and their conscience, and possibly account for their actions to God, if one exists.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  14. jazzc

    jazzc Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    If it was about lasik, I 'd say you left money on that table - it 's very safe.
     
  15. ArtVandelay

    ArtVandelay Power Member

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    This I agree with. It's very easy to dehumanize people when you're behind your monitor and they're behind theirs. It's not so easy to come to the realization that these are real people with real lives. Just like yours or mine.
    Take this with a grain of salt - but I think the internet world is becoming more and more legitimate over time. As more businesses start to understand the potential of the internet and more people start to understand the benefits of being honest the whole game is going to slowly shift towards this legitimacy.
    That's my projection, anyway. Maybe just a hope or opinion. Not sure.
    I'm just rambling now.
    Good thread. I hope more people adopt your views.
    Art
     
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  16. Cnotey

    Cnotey Power Member

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    I for one never promote anything that I wouldn't buy myself. I tried in the past, but my interest and dedication went up 1000% when I started promoting products I actually believed in.

    So no, I don't do payday loans. They are evil, and do nothing but damage to this world.
     
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  17. Furious George

    Furious George Supreme Member Premium Member

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    A payday loan is a voluntary contract.
    I can't see how presenting it to someone is morally wrong.
    The responsibility to feed ones family needs to rely on that person, and that person only.
     
  18. jazzc

    jazzc Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    Replace the word reasonable with "uninformed and propagandized" and we agree :)

    Yes, I know, it 's the "people as stupid and need guidance" argument (and always from an enlightened elite :eek:)

    I 'm happy to see you say that. Most people who think like you can't even see that.

    Not sure what your point is because you won't find any libertarian asking you to pay taxes for them to get any "free" services ;)

    Aren't you being a bit not consistent with yourself here? If people are stupid and need an enlightened savior, how is it possible to assume they are able to figure it out for themselves? :D To be consistent, you 'll have to ask for the government decide and make laws to handle it ;)
     
  19. ShadeDream

    ShadeDream Elite Member

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    It's hard to believe in that. For the time being I'd rather be safe than sorry and avoid potential issues that may or may not arise at one point or another:

    Code:
    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/lasik-eye-surgery/MY00376/DSECTION=risks
    Code:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1334246/Tempted-laser-eye-surgery-Its-risks.html
     
  20. jazzc

    jazzc Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    I studied about optics and vision for two years under the guy who invented the latest (at the time) iteration of the method - it 's safe :)

    To clarify, that doesn't mean it 's safe if a sloppy partitioner does it or if he uses really outdated equipment*. It means the method itself is safe. Lasik has a very low chance of things going wrong (naturally it can go wrong, since it 's still a surgical operation, not a band-aid). The reason Lasik got famous is exactly because of that - got the risk so low it became a cosmetic (think $$) operation.

    *It 's like a car - modern cars are safer that older cars, you should pick a modern car :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013