If you work at Facebook or Google you're benefiting directly from the similarly shady practices they used to grow on their way to being "pillars of tech" today.
Do you remember when at LEAST 20% of Facebook's revenue came from Zynga? Like less than 5 years ago? Many speculated it was considerably higher, but Facebook never provided a full accounting (1).
Or do you remember when Facebook literally had an "affiliate marketing panel" that they worked with at the C-suite level packed with guys selling weight loss affiliate slop? Almost impossible to find reference of it now, was well known in many circles and you can still see references of it here and there. (2)
Or maybe when Google was caught colluding with a notorious gangster when he turned state's evidence to demonstrate to the DOJ how quickly Google was willing to skirt around laws to sell illegally imported drugs? They were fined $500,000,000.00. Google was. (3)
50onRed is clearly engaged in scumb-bag advertising practices, but at least they keep good company.
(2) http://www.shoemoney.com/2009/11/16/dennis-yu-rise-and-fall-... & http://www.jimcockrum.com/blog/2011/10/19/the-biggest-dog-in... & http://techcrunch.com/2009/11/01/how-to-spam-facebook-like-a...
(3) https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/google-forfeits-500-million-g... & https://www.wired.com/2013/05/google-pharma-whitaker-sting/
I wrote my comment because online advertising is a murky and often slimy place.
Facebook & Google are the world's two largest online advertising companies - they sell and influence your attention for a living.
Google now spends more money lobbying the government than any other corporation (1) including GE, Exxon, etc, etc.
Depending on Apple's stock performance Google is either the #1 or #2 most valuable company in the WORLD.
Facebook is not far behind in either category.
Companies, like people, are more complex than the shiny, white-washed PR version.
The 50onRed story is about a cockroach who will live & die quickly, like a million other cockroaches.
I am less interested in the cockroach and more interested in the elephant given it's weight and past propensity for bad behavior.
Is all advertising bad? What makes advertising bad? To what degree do these companies participate in that behavior?
Is all lobbying bad? Should we assume them lobbying is bad because it exists? Is the total dollars spent lobbying the right value to look at? Perhaps lobbying dollars per revenue, pre profit, or per employee is a more important metric?
I would love to discuss any one of these topics, but your comment is too vague on any details to be able to start from any useful point, so I've resorted to asking for clarification.
- advertising in general is a "a murky and often slimy place"
- Google and Facebook are two behemots, who live in and out of that "murky place"
- given their side, influence over public life (as evidenced by lobbying efforts, besides the usual things), and "past propensity for bad behavior" (as the GP tried to evidence with some examples), they're much more interesting to look at than some random startup that's obviously evil, but also obviously not as influential
At least that's how I understood it.
Put another way, I think they are definitely very interesting to look at, but I'm not sure whether they are as relevant to look at in a discussion about bad corporate behavior without exploring some of these topics. As such, I'm just doing my best to try to entice people into what I think is a more interesting conversation in this sub-thread. :)
If you want to do your best, then don't try to lure the discussion in a different direction with semantics, random questions and flashcards, just state a clear point of view and it will become the starting point of the debate if others agree or disagree.
More succinctly, I'm not sure what the best way to handle the questions I posed is, but I do think those are questions worth asking. Should I have just stated that not all online advertising is bad? Maybe it is all bad, and someone can make a cogent case for that. If it's not all bad, I think it's important to consider how much bad behavior each company is responsible for, either in total or relative to other behavior. There are a lot of unknowns, but I think one extremely important point is that each of these unknowns weakens the absolutist and unsubstantiated statements the parent of that comment was putting forth. You don't have to show evidence to weaken an unsubstantiated statement, you can just show how it wasn't supported through data or critical thinking.
Targeted advertising breaks that part of advertising: http://zgp.org/targeted-advertising-considered-harmful/
Facebook's entire pitch to advertisers is its ability to target ads, so I do think they are bad for the market.
Didn't realize that, thanks. I wonder where that money goes though; I don't see any big successes in fighting with MAFIAA over not screwing up the Internet.
I'd say the exceptions are where the corporate interests align with moral ones. It's a pity we now view traditional ad providers and ad "injectors" as separate entities with clearly distinct morals—both are still preying on people who probably don't realize they're clicking on ads at all. Google and facebook simply do the footwork on user experience to not alienate the people who do realize a) what a bullshit experience online ads are and b) that they are perfectly able to block them.
I'd prefer the perks over a false sense of integrity in my business. Not that one would have to choose in this case.
these young excited guys running around on University look to be quite happy to be on the cyber front line of defending Motherland against internal and external terrorists and various other enemies.
Disclosure: if you look through my comment history, I have a moderate pro-Palantir bias. So "shill" accusations are slightly appropriate.
I consider building software to purposefully enable dragnet surveillance one of the least moral things you can do.
Pretty easy to rationalize it. The most problematic part would be the way it gets installed on user computers (covertly), but which could also pretty easily be rationalized away by saying that users don't understand all that tech mumbo-jumbo, and they just want to be sold things that they want and/or need.
They'll probably have no idea what you're talking about and once you explain that it's inserting the advertisements into Wikipedia and such they'll hate it.
In contrast, Facebook is completely honest about what they're doing: providing a free service in exchange for the ability to advertise to you. Hundreds of millions of people are happy with that trade.
It's a weak justification.
Maybe you can explain this logical extension, because I don't see it. At a minimum, it's not self-evident.
> "Has done in the past" is not the same as "is currently doing".
Because the "is currently doing" is predicated on a path to success that rested on "has done in the past", I interpreted that as promoting an "ends justifies the means" strategy of growing a company. That is: If you have to do bad things to get to be big enough to do good things, well so be it.
Similarly, you later wrote:
> In my experience, plenty of people do things when they are young that they are ashamed of later in life, and would not repeat. Why should I believe the same can't be said of a company, which is made up of people?
I don't disagree with your statements as observations. I disagree with the lackadaisical presentation of this sort of corporate behavior as something which, by-and-by, people should let slide, so why worry about it?
Furthermore, a young person is comprised (by definition) of a single young person. A young company can sometimes be made up of young people. However, a young company can also be made up of seasoned, cynical people who take seriously the attitude of doing bad when it helps you succeed, and well, maybe some good when you can afford to later on.
Upon closer reading of the original statement, I agree. I think the core point I wasn't accounting for is "every nation". If every example includes an attribute, then it's not logical to assume the next item won't.
> I disagree with the lackadaisical presentation of this sort of corporate behavior as something which, by-and-by, people should let slide, so why worry about it?
Are they letting it slide? The Google pharmaceuticals ads scandal was resolved with Google forfeiting the gross revenue of the program to the tune of 500 million. That can be interpreted multiple ways, depending on whether you believe that was an adequate punishment, or whether you think that could have been a learning experience. Is having the government punish Google, given their mandate by the people to police this, sufficient to consider it accounted for? Does the bank robber who gets out of jail after 10-15 years still deserved to be ostracized by the community, or has the punishment already been paid?
> Furthermore, a young person is comprised (by definition) of a single young person. A young company can sometimes be made up of young people. However, a young company can also be made up of seasoned, cynical people who take seriously the attitude of doing bad when it helps you succeed, and well, maybe some good when you can afford to later on.
I wasn't trying to focus on young vs old in company or employee age, but that time can cause change in a person as well as a company (it's entirely possible 10 years on that a company may not share a single employee or board member with the prior incarnation). This is the Theseus' Paradox applied to corporate entities, past behavior, and current standing.
No, I simply asked for someone to explain on their reasoning.
> Logically, that would lead us to excuse current bad behavior by smaller companies because everyone does it, and they'll do good once they are big enough.
I don't think that's necessarily logical at all. It assumes a lot of things which we don't know. For example, what rate of companies that exhibit bad behavior survive to become companies that later exhibit good behavior? Does whether the bad behavior was endemic to the company or restricted to specific divisions matter? How much does a change in management affect outcome?
In my experience, plenty of people do things when they are young that they are ashamed of later in life, and would not repeat. Why should I believe the same can't be said of a company, which is made up of people?
Did you quote that from somewhere? Because that is an amazing turn of phrase.
I assure you, this is not how we all feel. I look at an animal and I see food. Trips to the zoo make me hungry. The only ones I don't want on the menu are the biohazards, the toxic ones, and the bad-tasting ones. My only reservation about killing them is the same as with changing the oil on my car: it's messy, dirty work.
I think it has to do with making a sharp distinction between human and non-human. I feel that there is a strange commonality between animal rights activists and the people who enjoy torturing animals, with both sides seeing the animals as being relatively human, to love or to torture. The animals are being personified, then treated to good or evil. We don't have to personify animals. We can view them more like vegetables. Pretty much nobody sheds a tear when chopping vegetables, onions excepted. Pretty much nobody can sadistically enjoy it either. It's just food.
As the cost per lead is bid up, they are eventually forced to drop out.
Of course, the material value of each rule is in the eye of the beholder; surely the cab drivers of the world felt that there was material value to adhering to their regulations and that it would not be moral or necessarily safe to circumvent those regulations. Then Uber came along and its founders entered the pantheon of those that break "rules that don't matter". Ditto for Airbnb.
Most types of marketing and PR are morally dubious. But you have to play that game if you're going to get anywhere.
That's the secret that entrepreneurs have to learn, the secret that doesn't get shown in the profile pieces or the television specials. "Might makes right" in this world and if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to loosen from a theoretical moral ideal to a practical one that is informed by the competitive landscape of capitalism. You can nitpick and find fault with most money-making techniques, so you just have to try to do something you can be reasonably comfortable with, acknowledging that in a competitive landscape, sometimes uncomfortable choices have to be made.
If you do find something that makes money and has no competitors, thus allowing you to not worry about underhanded techniques to steal your marketshare, take advantage of your early position to decisively corner the market. That means employing the same techniques that would be employed against you, because those techniques will be employed against you pretty soon. I know this because one of my companies was roundly beaten after a spammer started a competitor and engaged SEO link rings to inorganically alter his ranking, among other tactics that I was morally "above" until my company was pwned that way. Now I understand you must play that game, that everyone plays that game, and they just don't talk about it because it doesn't help them to do so. It helps them to keep potential competitors naive.
Playing by the rules may be the cool way to do it, but in the real world, it doesn't work, because there is someone who is willing to break those rules. How many entrepreneurs started on something like Uber but quit because they saw the regulatory landscape and a) didn't have the millions to fight cities and the cab industry; b) didn't want to run afoul of city regulations in the first place? Do what YC does: break whatever rules are in your way and then afterwards say they were rules that "didn't matter". If you say this from a position of success, people will believe you.
Yeah, and that's the primary reason I increasingly don't want to be an entrepreneur. Call me naive, but even if I could somehow handle the necessary sacrifice of conscience to be able to compete in the marketplace, I think I wouldn't like the person I would become very much.
..and if you are morally above that, then you'll work as a rent-seeker in a government office that taxes that entrepreneur.
only way to win, is to not play.
The other time I threatened my employer with leaving on the spot if I ever see the shady spam-marketing tactics they were discussing popping up on my blog. I'm not sure if it worked or if they decided to never again talk about marketing strategy in my presence.
There are many jobs out there that are morally acceptable. Not as many as I'd like, but fortunately I've managed to find one, and I'm sticking to it at the moment. But yeah, I get your point - after hearing stories about various shenanigans my non-tech friends were asked to do at their jobs, I'm under firm impression that most companies are in fact fucking over their customers whenever possible.
> only way to win, is to not play.
Let's get on with Basic Income. It will be much easier to stick to your morals without the threat of going hungry hanging over your head.
Won't that just cause all the amoral people in politics to begin promising to raise the basic income more than the next politician will, reducing all policymaking to a race to bribe the populace, so that they'll ignore all the other amoral things the politicians are doing?
No, the same as all policymaking now isn't reduced to a race to bribe the populace with tax cuts.
So true! But the founders has to make a call on the extent of this. The Uber and Airbnb example is not a good analogy, since they tried to break/overcome the archaic rules made by cities many years ago. Otherwise I kinda reckon with your argument that in many areas of customer acquisition(SEO/Spammy mail marketing), all companies do have to involve in not so moral things.
Not necessarily. It's very easy to think that existing industry protection laws are immoral and operate a company that skirts those laws without breaking morals.
Working around that is deciding that people aren't allowed to govern others.
And would then get screwed by them so badly they'd ask for those rules back. After all that's how they got introduced in the first place - to protect people from "entrepreneurs" who will happily exploit them.
That said, this subthread is also a nice example of how one can rationalize both sides in a way that sounds morally bearable :).
How did you find out about this? What could you have done to react to this? I think this would be a fascinating story.
I also find this bit credible: “We simply know from the documents we reviewed and witnesses we interviewed that Larry Page knew what was going on,” Neronha said. Even for Google at the time, a $500M+ revenue stream from advertising illegal pharmaceuticals can't have escaped notice.
This was cited in the FB S1 filing, which was around March 2012, so you are correct.
It talked about how MS, Google, and others worked to prevent this type of behavior.
My takeaway is that spammers, malware authors, even identity thieves, are among us. They can seem like perfectly nice people. They might even be perfectly nice people except for this one bad habit, this one ethical blind spot, that enables them to do things from which the rest of us would recoil in disgust. The company in this story might be an extreme case, but I'll bet a lot of people asking "how could they not know" have themselves worked at companies that made at least some of their money in less savory ways. Sometimes it might be why that company survived while contemporaries faded away. Silicon Valley from its earliest days has been full of people who benefited from carefully redacted history, whether they knew it or not.
Seriously by not clicking the right boxes I could have agreed to pay an extra $42 in add-ons/services for a $15 ticket that had its own $6 in fees added.
If all the mistakes go the company's way, then, at best, the company is working much harder at avoiding mistakes that hurt themselves than they are at getting it right.
This goes for credit card companies and many other firms.
Lesson: not everything which can be implemented should. And elegant solutions to unethical problems are still ugly.
I think you mean tax avoidance, which is quite a different matter. While there's a lot of debate on the matter, in the United States at least, the general rule of thumb was laid down in 1934, and is as follows.
> Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes
-- Judge Learned Hand
However tax evasion and avoidance are often confused, for a public company not avoiding taxes would most certainly be an ethical violation.
>You are allowed to use any opening in the law to save on taxes, but not lie.
The other side of that is:
If you (as a C(ETF)O of a company) do not use every opening in the law to save on taxes you may be violating a fiduciary duty to your shareholders.
Also, depending on the company "a few million dollars" isn't even a meaningful amount of money.
Yes, in theory it's their fiduciary duty to minimize taxes, but I've never heard of a board being sued because they didn't squeeze every last dollar out of their tax bill.
Again, has anyone every sued a company to demand that they try harder to lower their tax bill or move operations overseas?
Some companies even brag about NOT outsourcing. Socially conscious marketing.
Perhaps this is related to the fact that I wasn't responding to your comment?
>Some companies even brag about NOT outsourcing. Socially conscious marketing.
However, obviously there's always potential risks and costs involved in outsourcing that need to be taken into account when evaluating such decisions.
This would also presumably require that the leadership be informed of the obviously better course of action.
Maybe not what you want, but in 2008, the CEO of KBS, South Korea's public broadcasting corporation, was fired by the government for having agreed to court settlement in dispute with National Tax Service over how much tax KBS should pay.
Yes, he was fired because he had followed the settlement suggested by the freaking court. (The real reason was that he was a liberal appointed by the previous president Roh, and the new government led by conservative Lee Myung-Bak wanted him gone.)
Years later the court ruled that the firing was unlawful (duh), but somehow he wasn't reinstated, and anyways, the damage was done.
The tax loopholes that companies like Apple tax advantage of are another thing entirely.
No, the significant ones (i.e. offshore subsidiaries) are very much codified.
This is very black and white.
This is just not true.
Just look up "sham transaction" for plenty more. It's a very well established concept and doctrine. Nobody should be splitting hairs about avoiding vs. evading taxes, or generally pontificating about fiduciary duty, without understanding it.
>Actions that are deemed to have been taken solely for their tax effects are clearly and explicitly deemed tax evasion by the IRS
What you said would make almost all tax avoidance into tax evasion. Hell, even claiming deductions would by your logic be tax evasion.
Based on my reading there certainly exists such a duty when it's beneficial, obviously tax avoidance isn't explicitly beneficial though. Potential law changes or even bad press could cost more than the amount of money saved.
tax avoidance=/=tax evasion
(In the future you might want to do that before accusing others of such)
We tracked our work hourly, so I donated all the money I made from that particular work to St. Jude's hospital, which actually does cure cancer in children, but it still irks me to this day.
Oh, and they had Ben Carson for a spokesman for a while. Amazing.
Source: am a long time resident of TX; it's business-friendly reputation is well earned, IMO.
As time went on, our focus was more on how to sell more of the parent company's products. I also learned more on how the MLM business really worked, and I was disgusted at how the system preyed on the vulnerable. With very few jobs in the area, I continued working there. I eventually moved and turned down requests to work remotely.
None of my co-workers seemed to have cared. Either that, or they understood it was still one of the better tech opportunities in an area with very few.
Definitely could be Utah county, but
> one of the better tech opportunities in an area with very few
Probably not Utah county. The greater than 4000 tech companies in and around Utah County cannot hire software engineers fast enough.
However, their products started to receive more and more focus on our site. If their highly profitable products had competitors in certain categories, we would eliminate those other products. SEO was optimized for those products. The underlying tech focus did not change. The UI team continued working on UIs, mobile teams on the app, etc.
MLM was/is designed to fail. The barriers of entry for any form of compensation were incredibly high. If you satisfied some requirement of the program, there would be another one that was not achieved, invalidating any profits. I had zero insights on the parent company's network, but I simply do not see how a new person could make any money at all.
Although our location, at least those in tech, had nothing to do with the MLM program, except for putting the products on the site (through the standard vendor process), it was still uneasy to be part of. I was not starving. I had a choice to not be part of it, so I exercised that choice. I should add the MLMs are completely legal under strict federal guidelines. Nothing illegal was happening, it was a bit too immoral for my personal standards.
It sounds like a lot, but when you consider is takes a few years (sometimes more) to figure out what you like. A few more to get good at it. And then you have maybe 20 peak years of productivity, you sure as hell don't want to spend any of it at something you can't respect.
When you are done with your career at 60 or 65, you want to be able to look back and say "I did this" or "I created that" or "I helped this many people", not "I worked at that shitty adware company for 2 years because they have me free food and beer"
It was at this point I realized that I barely understood what the company actually did. I set up another in-person interview, except this time with the roles reversed. I asked them to walk me through their products and platforms so I could better understand what I would be working on. Ten minutes in, I realized what I was looking at. I treaded water until the end of the interview and called them a few days later to decline the offer.
I think you may have meant "insidious", though, not "insipid" — because "insipid" is the opposite of "intriguing" and "compelling".
In my opinion a CS program is totally incomplete without a co-op requirement. My program requirements 12 full months co-op to graduate.
"Cooperative education (or co-operative education) is a structured method of combining classroom-based education with practical work experience. A cooperative education experience, commonly known as a "co-op", provides academic credit for structured job experience."
Practically co-ops are usually 6 months long and you apply to them like a regular job, just a temp position. Co-op positions are available all over the country. As long as you do full time work related to your degree program it counts. Your boss has to evaluate you and submit the short evaluation to your school. If you do very badly you don't get credit but it's a pass/fail, no grades.
Copyright infringement + scam, right there on Facebook.
It took me a week to realize what I was actually doing then another week to plan and execute my escape. The rest of the team were east european and did not give a fuck about what they were doing, it was good money to them.
They eventually did release a product with a few thousand users. Not long after, Facebook changed their signup strategy from schools to the general public and the rest is history.
They hired me to make them a website. I worked alongside an art director and a content creator. Everyday, the reoccurring question was, "what exactly do we do". I was disconnected from the sales staff and the marketing side, so I kept working on a basic WordPress site.
Six months in, we heard that the office was going to close. There was little to no warning, then a week later, we heard that the FCC raided the Florida home office for the CEO breaking tons of spam laws.
The overall structure of the company wasn't necessarily designed to keep people unaware of what they were doing. Instead, they had so many things that the company did, but most of the other "things" didnt make any money. When you boiled down the operations, you realized there was a small number of things that was hugely profitable (spam/toolbars), then a ton of other things that were nonsense and unprofitable.
I went for an interview at a startup, where the very charismatic CEO explained how their wonderful product helped website owners optimise their content based on their user's profiles. He forgot to mention that those profiles were built using all sorts of illegal and TOS-breaking practices to build display ads for gambling sites. I only found this out by accident, months after the (failed) interview, when talking about them with somebody at a meetup.
So I guess it's possible if the business has a specific strategy for doing it.
It might have just been that particular company at that time, but I've never worked with so many morally questionable people at one company. Never again.
He wasn't shocked to find that he personally had been writing an ad injector. He was shocked to find that the company he was working for made such software without his realizing it and that it derived most of its revenue from said software.
It's 50onRed, apparently. The article uses a font with Text Figures which makes '0's look like 'o's.
It's likely they weren't working on the actual ad injection itself, but rather the backend systems that select and count the ads. From that perspective it's just a matter of handling X requests per second, without it necessarily being clear where the traffic comes from.
When I worked at Adzerk, we'd be approached occasionally by companies doing this kind of garbage. They were always very good at disguising their actual traffic sources. Our sales team had to be very adept at asking the right questions to eliminate the shitty partners quickly.
Right out of school I worked at a company that builds deep packet inspection hardware and it seems like a dream job: good pay, smart people, interesting problems, reasonable schedule. Too bad about the product though.
Also I would strongly suspect that most traders of stolen goods (ad spots, in this case) would have a path for legitimately acquired merchandise as well, not only for plausible deniability but also because they sure would not mind paying their bills in a clean way, they just failed to resist the lure of the extra cash. With that in place, you'd have to actually work in the shady part to know about it, or have bird's eye numbers of the whole company where you might see that output does not match the legitimate input.
Given the choice, a company with a sane business model has less chances to go under (== not going through interviews again in 6 months), and it should also give an idea of how much and in which way the comapny has any chance to grow.
I love that bit. How does injecting ads into random sites help keep content free for users?
Who's buying those ads by the way? Sure it sound like a terrible company, but I can help thinking that their customers are worse.
I believe content creators have a right to seek compensation for their work - whether it's through ads, affiliate links, or a subscription model.
But what 50onRed does is thievery from the creators, plain and simple.
One of the products I was assigned was the interface for customers to configure those sites that are intended to monetize a domain with filler content meant to fool a visitor just enough to milk them for a few cents with seemingly legitimate articles/posts and an e-commerce feature that was essentially a storefront built entirely from affiliate links.
Unlike the individual in the story, it was immediately clear what my task was: make spamming the Internet as user-friendly as possible. Unfortunately there was no mental gymnastics I could do to reconcile that.
Especially since the second product I had was domain auctions, which alone is nothing more than virtual real estate, but together with the first product is the makings of a thinly-veiled means to skim money off the top of online purchases made by ignorant users AND to fool people into believing they could profit from otherwise idle domains (by first paying the company for the monetizing product first, of course.)
And a tiny fraction of our customers did make a good income with those 2 offerings but the significant majority would never net a dime.
Aside from the pay and perks, the only professional payoff was also having the company's support site in my charge. I was proud of the work I did on that and it was a feature of my portfolio. But it wasn't enough and I was too disillusioned and discouraged overall by the day to day work. It wasn't long before I let it get to me, my performance began to suffer, and I needed to get out of there. (Admittedly, the nature of the job wasn't well-suited to my strengths either so it was probably fortunate I lasted as long as I did...)
I was able to cash in quite nicely on the experience gained there with a good offer on an out-of-state position with a generous relocation package. So, no, it wasn't all bad and, like the person in the story, the coworkers were largely really great (some going to work for large, well-known tech companies) and though I value the experience overall, it revealed just how much money can be made if you're willing to profit from people's ignorance and greed, just by framing your product or service in a particular way.
So "Tyler" wasn't a programmer, then. Got it.
It's personal preference of cause, but I believe that the disadvantages starts to cancel out any benefits at around 6-8 people per office.
I'm a writer and man, I hate writing with people around me
It seems to me that the more ambiguous your business strategy is, the more you have to show off to convince others that it isn't.
I avoid adtech, myself.
Makes me wonder about the other ad platforms in town.
He did it because he didn't make the connection between the circuits and the software in front of him and the deaths they caused.
Then there was a war and he saw the missiles on the news with pictures of casualties, and suddenly it was "Holy fuck - this stuff actually kills people!"
Some people think small picture, and he just couldn't get from the work on his desk to dead bodies without the help of front-line footage.
Of course there are also people who are just fine with that kind of work. I don't understand that ethical space at all - but from what I've seen they simply don't understand why anyone would have a problem with what they do.
At my first job (hydrodynamics R&D)I was tasked with analyzing high sped files from one of our test rigs.
It was quite obvious what the rig was simulating and my office mates said oh yes thats REDACTED the Update to REDATED - I had to sit down and think how I felt about this.
I do draw the line a at Chem, Bio and Payday Loans.
I'll try to explain the other side, but it probably won't make sense to you. (as your side makes no sense to me) The trouble is that people can have fundamentally different value systems, priorities, and fears.
Maybe the best way to explain it is to say how you appear to the other side. I'm sure you will disagree, which is kind of the point.
You look kind of naïve and childish. You appear to believe in some utopian fantasy where all people are good and have or can be converted to a value system that is like your own, with the possible exception of conservatives. You fail to make any effort to protect your nation and culture from being overrun by the brutish, violent, and lazy. You somehow imagine that people from places like Syria and Mexico make better neighbors than many of the conservative people in your own country. Basically, your views fail at self-preservation. You are in denial of the historic fact that every nation is built upon a hill of skulls, and the fact that this is the natural way of nature. You imagine that you can refuse to pile up skulls without becoming part of the pile.
If your world were real, I'd rather live in it. I'm not going to deny reality just because I don't like it. Conflict is eternal. I prefer that my people win.
It's actually unethical to avoid the conflict. You're ceding ground to the enemy. You let down your descendants, friends, and neighbors. They will be impovershed, killed, and -- as we've seen with ISIS -- enslaved. This shit really happens. It may take decades or even centuries, but every bit of inaction and appeasement brings that day closer.
For some reason, you push risk and long-term bad consequences out of your mind. It's like you can't see them. You focus on the positive only, kind of like a gambler.
Your optimism probably makes you a happier person. :-)
Yeah right. No clean hands in that game.
Normally we call that vandalism. They should be facing criminal charges, not civil lawsuits and pressure from Google.
Unethical, sure, but there's little the law can do to prevent people from agreeing to such things.
Maybe a requirement for certain disclosures to be made more prominent (like for cigarettes)?
Methinks the broadcasters would pounce down like a ton of bricks and their lawyers would use every loose corner of the law to bury you perpetually `a la Aereo.`
Even if it is replacing ads, to argue that it's illegal seems to require saying that ad blocking is illegal (adblock plus has been sued for this, but so far not successfully).
Also https://brave.com/ uses basically the same technique.
I'm just wondering if there was a particular moment when people's intuitions about where you could expect to see ads on television changed.
True, iff the customer was adequately informed about the offer in a way most people will understand. Contracts are not supposed to be a "gotcha" with extra terms buried in the fine print. If the installer only featured the "bait" and mentioned the adware behind a dark pattern UI or deep in the text of the contract, a judge could (and should) void that part of the contract.
> Maybe a requirement for certain disclosures to be made more prominent
At a minimum.
That said, the issue isn't really with the person that installs the software. There isn't a contract between the adware scammers and e.g. Target or Wikipedia.
There's a difference between voiding a contract that no longer obligates people, and voiding a contract to make actions taken under it illegal. I'm not sure there's good precedent for the latter.
>There isn't a contract between the adware scammers and e.g. Target or Wikipedia.
They're not touching Wikipedia, they're running on the user's computer and manipulating their local served page of Wikipedia. I don't see why anyone else would have a case.