Business Philosophy: Case study on Online Scams

Okay, I’m deviating a little bit on this post. You won’t find any new ways to make money online in this rant, but please stick with me. I’m delving a little more into the topic of online scams.

I look at Surf Junky and images of Enron pop into my head. The first thing you’re probably thinking is, ‘Whoa there, Enron stole millions from shareholders, lied explicitly, whereas Surf Junky is a private company and explained in their terms and conditions clearly that they make no guarantee of profits and that they can withhold any payment.’ Yes, you’re right. Surf Junky is not stealing your money. They didn’t ask you for a dime, and don’t have the same sort of legal agreement that a shareholder would have with a company.

But how is it that we tolerate these scams? You’re probably thinking, ‘Well, tough luck. If you had read the terms and conditions closely you would have known what you were getting into.’

True, yes.

But what kind of company is allowed to employ individuals to fuel their profits with a 100% guarantee that no profit can be made by those very people? How is it that we are so ridiculously laissez-faire about this issue that the relentless drive to make money that we forget our democratic values? Our values are of capitalism, human rights, safety and responsible government. It is one of our values that laws can change to better suit the general good of the public. And don’t come back with me saying that laws leave morality off the table. Not all laws are designed to simply help the public; some are in fact only to protect the individual. Let me make this distinction clear: Killing is illegal because it hurts the public, whereas not wearing a seatbelt is illegal because the government has decided that it is the best for the individual. The same goes for polygamy, in which the government has made a moral judgment on the issue which has indeterminate outcomes.

So why are we too stubborn to stop these deceptions of the public? Well, for starters, we don’t know how, so we give up. Is it too hard to make a clear cut distinction between what is and is not a scam? Where does Surf Junky’s income come from? The labor of the public (although it’s not tough labor by any stretch of the imagination). Is it not clear that there is something wrong with deceiving your ‘workers’ into believing that they will be paid? This is different than if there is a variety of success levels and you purport that you will become very wealthy from it. No, Surf Junky is unique in that they pay out to nobody, but claim that they will. Therefore, are they a real business? I think you could make the case that they are an illegitimate one.

Of course, there will be those that say they are completely legitimate in that those who use the site are voluntarily helping it, and not intending to be paid by the company. This is a slippery slope argument in that the terms and conditions completely trumps any uncertainty to this. Then, would you not see it as a problem that if you are logged in, you cannot read the terms and conditions? I would say this is the same as withholding a legal contract from a signatory – which is incredibly undemocratic.

It’s sad that the pursuit for wealth still allows this kind of misconduct. So do I have any validity at all or do you see me as Karl Marx? Because I’m not. I’m as close as you can be to a liberal in terms of business sense. But this is something that is driving me nuts. It’s our responsibility as internet users to want to improve the legal state of the environment of our success.

I am tired and busy and I don't want to spend any more of my time dealing with the shortcomings of the internet and the idiots the exploit it, so I'm going to sign off for now. I haven't proofread this article at all so I am sorry for any grammatical errors. But I really just wanted to write a 'rant', so I haven't edited anything I've said. It's all there.

I have not linked to Surf Junky because they don't deserve any more incoming links. If you really want to check them out, Google it.

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