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(RANT) Are Black Hat Money Making Methods Hypocritical

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by Noah Hawryshko, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. Noah Hawryshko

    Noah Hawryshko Senior Member

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    So first of all, know that this applies to me just as much as it applies to you. This isn't a witch-hunt trying to call out those who use the "worst" black hat methods or do anything of that sort. It's merely a philosophical dilemma I've been trying to wrap my head around, and was hoping others could help.

    EDIT: This whole post is one gigantic cluster**** of ideas floating around my head right now. Try not to read into it too much.

    So whenever someone uses a black hat method, they cross some boundaries within business ethics some would consider "immoral", like spamming, falsely agreeing to TOS and what not. It's not anything I consider immoral and it's probably not anything you consider immoral either. However, even though those things in themselves aren't immoral, I wonder to myself if some of the underlying principles they consist of, namely deception, should really be used to profit off of other people.

    I feel like deception and lying shouldn't just magically become okay because it's done through a business model to people we don't know, but at the same time I feel like I'm overreacting. I can't help feeling like a hypocrite giving advice to people on BHW and answering their questions yet, in a sense, taking advantage of other people to get them to complete CPA offers that are, as we know, ripe with every level of bullshit one can imagine.

    I started IM about a month ago, and it's not as if I'm planning to just drop everything and leave because of this, far from it. It's not as if I'm having some "emotional turmoil" either, I'm just thinking about it healthily and philosophically.

    Members, I'm sure you've had to think about this one time or another. At the moment, I feel kind of hypocritical helping others out on BHW in this tab whilemy CPA bots run in the background peddling god knows what to my impressions.

    Anybody have anything to say? A different perspective, perhaps? Maybe I just overthink everything and next to nobody else has been through this? Any contribution would be appreciated.
     
  2. Reaver

    Reaver Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I don't really bother with CPA, although I have been wanting to get into it. I found my skill (copywriting) and I stick to that to make money.

    I have seen people lie about the content they're delivering, saying it's written by 100% native English speakers, etc. And it's almost guaranteed that anyone who buys an eBook from a certain forum that shall not be named is getting ripped off. The information is old, rehashed and is setting up noobs for failure. There are sellers on Fiverr who offer 100% human traffic for dirt cheap. We know it's not human traffic, yet that's what they sell it as.

    All of those practices are deceptive, yet people still use them to make money. So it' isn't just limited to CPA. People use deception for almost everything in IM.

    Nor is this practice of deception limited to IM. Every day companies get busted for scamming other people. Look at Donald Trump. He's being sued because his "University" didn't deliver what was promised. That is deception. Yet he's perfectly OK with it, and is even defending his actions.

    I think, on a certain level, there are business practices that are just flat out wrong, and then there are business practices that fall into a grey area. I don't think deception in CPA is anything like the examples I listed above. You aren't asking people for money. You just want a lead: an email address, fill out a form, download an app, something. So that's about a grey area. But if you're asking people for money in exchange for something you're disguising as something else, that's a whole other level of deception. That's basically fraud. And we should all look down on that.

    tl;dr: If you aren't asking people for money in exchange for a service you aren't providing, I wouldn't worry about it.
     
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  3. Sebastian Rooks

    Sebastian Rooks Registered Member

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    "Black Hat" seems to mean different things to different people. I've seen a sickening amount of scum-baggery on this forum, as well as some awesome and clever people doing awesome and clever things. Where you draw the line on the continuum is a decision made on an inddividual level.

    I'm on a long journey of discovery and learning, that started right here in this forum. 8 months later, I'm focused on Python programming. I still don't really know to what end it's all going to be for, exactly. But when I get there, I hope I find a way to translate these new skills into financial success without being a complete douche-bag.

    Good luck with your own dilemma.
     
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  4. 1morenoob

    1morenoob BANNED BANNED

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    you don't have to do scummy stuff/methods
     
  5. Zwielicht

    Zwielicht Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    The issue with morality and marketing is that they, in my opinion, simply don't mix due to the subjectivity of morality and the implications of marketing. This is the same conundrum many members encounter with Clickbank; they feel as if they're ripping people off when they promote a shoddy product. However, what if the product you thought was a waste of time is actually useful to the buyer in some way (e.g., It leads them on the right path to find a better product they would have otherwise not discovered)? Was promoting the product still "immoral"?

    As @1morenoob, you don't have to use a method if it doesn't "feel" right to you and you don't have to necessarily engage in black hat tactics because you're on Black Hat World. Hell, I just run a small local marketing business that follows the Google Webmaster Guidelines with every SEO campaign; no deception, lying, or anything you would refer to as black hat. Yet, this is the only forum I'm a member of, it just happens to primarily be a black hat SEO forum.
     
  6. Noah Hawryshko

    Noah Hawryshko Senior Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts guys, I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt like this at some point.
    I'm starting to warm up to this viewpoint. I suppose "deception" can fall under a broad category of things, right? I mean, "deception" could be Amazon making something seem like it's on sale when it clearly isn't, and that isn't black hat at all. "Deception" could also be ClickBank products, special offers, or, I suppose, anything that uses marketing psychology to make something seem more appealing than it is.

    I'm starting to like this particular view. Indeed, it is very hard to call "deception" in itself wrong or hypocritical when it can encompass such a wide variety of things, even things many consider completely white-hat. Thread bookmarked and thanks given for this, appreciate it.
    This is a good point. We cannot ultimately know whether anything we market will do overall good or overall bad in a customer's life.

    I suppose deception isn't really the worst thing in the world. I mean, people are choosing to buy things with their own money, out of their own pocket, based on the value they think the product will give them. The customer does have complete control over clicking an advertisement, buying a product, or refusing both, so I suppose "buyer beware" is also a valid point given these circumstances. People promote and exaggerate the effects of products all the time on television, yet we don't call them "black hat", just good marketers. Professional commercials are literally developed in a fashion that makes the product or service look as good as possible whether or not it actually is, and I guess we don't call them "black hat" either.
     
  7. Noah Hawryshko

    Noah Hawryshko Senior Member

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    So after sitting here for like an hour and letting the gears turn, here's what I've come up with: I guess deception is a part of marketing, and any good marketing has some sort of deception within it, because advertisements aren't created for brutal and critical honesty, they're created to sell. Beer commercials use fabricated standards of masculine identification to identify with the viewer. Billboards use scantily clad women to promote restaurants that are not associated with them in any way. Beauty products use models and professional aesthetic technicians to make a mediocre product seem revolutionary. Deception happens in all forms of advertising, and when I think of it, there's really no reason to think it's suddenly "less ethical" or "more hypocritical" in a CPA submit than in a television ad. It's simply a part of marketing, everywhere, in everything, all the time.

    Thoughts?
     
  8. Reaver

    Reaver Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    You're correct. In fact, marketing is completely psychological. You present your product the right way, you use the right words and you make people want to purchase your product. That's why scantily clad women and pretty faces can sell something crazy like beer or an air freshener. Or toothpaste.

    People have to educate themselves and be able to see through that type of stuff. Everyone fudges the lines between lie and truth when they advertise. Just don't flat out lie about what you're giving them or commit fraud and you're OK.
     
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  9. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Super Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    I do low to mid 5 figures with CPA offers every month and some months even a little better than that and never take advantage of people. I'm pretty upfront, even to the point of letting them know that if they go to my sites and click links, they are going to be expected to complete XYZ offers.

    Sure, there are those that do the fake them out method but I have found that being upfront with them gets me more revenue from the initial visitor as well as my offers get shared.

    Do I tell them 100% up front the deal?

    Of course not.

    Do I lie, trick or deceive my visitors?

    Absolutely not.

    You don't have to be a deceiving so and so to generate excellent revenue with CPA offers and you don't have to send the visitor to a BS offer to make money either. There are a ton of decent offers that generate great revenue for the publishers that have two way value; value to the one that completes the offer and value to the publisher that offers that on his LP.
     
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  10. blogzandstuff

    blogzandstuff Elite Member

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    I am up front with my customers, i tell them the truth and have lost some and gained a few. When you get companies like facebook making billions by selling on peoples info and watching what you are doing all the time ( people don't realise what facebook actually does with the likes and posts ), you'll realise that it's cut throat out there.