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Author Topic: Internet Ethics, or how I started to worry once my previous job wanted me back  (Read 2198 times)

sans

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Those on IWBTSkype know that I was working for a company that designed search engines designated for two very specific things (that I will not mention here in case this would come up in a search result under Google for the company) and that at the end of June, they let me go on a three-week furlough to "retrain the sales people" amongst other things, and that ended up lasting until just last week. Three weeks, three months, same difference, right? So on Friday, I got an e-mail from my manager saying that we in the front office could come back and help them with their latest project, to which I agreed upon the condition that they work around my new schedule at Geek Squad and showed up today.

The guy that the head honcho has designing his search engines was the lead on this project, which already made me feel a bit uneasy as he tended to either do very little to nothing at all or do nothing and blame other people to get out of the spotlight himself. Case in point, he explained to me and one of the other guys that came back that what we were doing was trying to get their name cleaned up so sites like Ripoff Report and Google auto defaulting the name of the company with the word Scam next to it. How were we going to do this, you asked? He made another 30 sites with the default company name in the URL, and it was our job to post those links everywhere, AKA going onto various forums and blogs and spamming links wherever possible.

I had no trouble making a false name, new e-mail address, and a basic background for the guy I was supposed to be signing up as, but it wasn't until I was about half-way through the list of forums trying to sign-up (to which a good 2/3 of them came up denied as they blocked the IP out due to spamming) that my ethics kicked in and made me realize what a horrible thing I was doing. Spamming sites that have been defunct for ages (years) is one thing, and even making your own forums to spam links in as well, but to knowingly go against what you've learned over the years on a forum and be a human spambot? I couldn't do it.

All I did was finish signing up under the list of websites and only make a few posts under the newbie sections, but getting responses back (as I hadn't posted any links yet) from everyday people like you or I welcoming me into their community, it overall made me feel like a really shitty person and I had to tell my manager that I couldn't go through with this. She understood it completely and offered to e-mail me once sales had started back up again, so that I could do what I did before at the job, which I was fine with.

Sure, this would've been my second job and made me extra cash on top of working elsewhere, so I easily made the decision to leave after a day of doing this... but I'm not sure if I would've dropped it Day 1 had this been (still) my only source of income, or if I would've started looking elsewhere for employment. So the question I post to all of you (who read this) is: Given a similar opportunity to get paid under the table to spam websites everywhere, would you do it?
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Rarest Pepe

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I wouldn't. It's an ass thing to do, and all you'd be doing is getting paid to annoy people. I mean, i do a good job of that now, but i'm not gonna go over the limit for some money.
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Neko Desu

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Very interesting question, and it's something I've also considered personally as well (although I've never been in such a situation). Personally, I feel kind of sad for human spammers. Assuming that they aren't socially inept, they're probably very well aware that they are posting stuff that nobody will ever read or care about, and that they will get banned instantaneously once a mod finds their post, which could very likely ruin their chances of integrating with that forum community in the future if the place is actually of their interest. Of course, some of their posts are funny, like people who spam about products such as lingerie (saw it on another forum the other day), especially if it's riddled with bad grammar, though that might make it a bot. But all in all it is a sad thing.

I wouldn't do it unless I was somehow in a financial rock bottom, which I don't foresee myself being unless suddenly a second Great Depression hits the world. It's sort of a maslow's hierarchy of needs thing: if I need food, I'll agree to make spam my job in order to make money; but if my income has been satisfied, I definitely won't.
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Sorceress Autimecia

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See I'm a pretty despicable person. I'm the kind of guy who makes an account called Korea on a forum he's not entirely invested in specifically to post in the crap forums and make rule 3 threads calling out his buddy Evan for various stupid shit. I'm the kind of guy who browses imageboards for giggles. I'm the kind of guy who scripts shit for Evan despite the knowledge that Evan is certifiably nuts and that everything I make will be twisted into something that will come back to bite me later. I'm the kind of guy who makes inside jokes about things he wasn't even present for. There's not many legal things that I consider below me. That said, spam is vile and disgusting.

I would sooner step on a LEGO...

You know unless there was actually a good deal of money involved in which case I'd flood some of the forums I'm not actually fond of. Obviously wouldn't spam you guys, though. Grown rather attached to this place.
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Neo

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I would flip a coin to see if I would do it or not. Or ask Android Decide.

That said, I was a telemarketer for a total of a day so I think it's pretty much the same thing...except you don't have to use your real name.

Telemarketers have to use their real name. I learned this after being fired for switching my name with everyone. Even though they specifically said in the training that you could.

Anyway, you did the right thing
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I would do it, but I probably wouldn't spam it. I'd probably make a few cursory posts and drop the link into my signature.
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sans

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I would do it, but I probably wouldn't spam it. I'd probably make a few cursory posts and drop the link into my signature.

The sad thing is on most of the sites I visited, they either had to have the account approved by the moderator (which probably would have been denied by this point if a good 7 accounts had been made in such a short time) or you have to have had a certain amount of posts before you were allowed to post links or have signatures, so it would've been just making small talk with the people on the forums before you hit post 15, making you a different member group and then unleashing the spam upon the unsuspecting people. I think the only thing that this 'plan' would generate is more results on Google stating that not only is it a scam, but now they're trying to spam people with positive messages.

I'll be straight here and say that the business itself is pretty shady at best. The main guy behind the whole thing, whenever he came in, would always tell these crazy stories about how before meeting at something involving the government that he and a few other guys in suits would just be in the restroom snorting cocaine like crazy, along with some other anecdotal stories involving drugs and shit. Because he usually tries to throw money at problems instead of solving it, I'm honestly surprised he hasn't given thousands of dollars to some black-hat hackers to make this problem go away, but he's also the kind of guy that once his mind is set on something, he sees it until it either succeeds or crashes and burns miserably.

I still don't know why I'm still hung up on this... I shouldn't even be giving them a second thought as they furloughed my ass for over three months. I guess I miss the overly lax work environment that allowed me to be on Skype all day at work, not to mention the only good thing to have come out of me working there.
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