As the OP, I thank the company for providing a spokesperson to answer the questions raised here. I hope we do not become too much of an irritant to the executives at 80legs.
For example, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that your answer to this question is false. Mind you, it may be false because of a lack of concern to the level that some in society have. Or should I state it may be false, but not meant to be maliciously false.
Q: Do people use 80legs for shady purposes?
A: No. Many of our customers are well-established companies. You may even recognize some of them by name. Some of our customers are individuals or bootstrapped startups. Out of personal curiosity, we tend to do research on each customer. All have websites, company information, team bios, etc. If any of them are setting up businesses just to hide their purpose, I must say, they are doing an excellent job!
The answer was not something like, "We hope not." It was, "No."
But then you qualified the answer and it is very clear that your company, in fact, cannot stand in a courtroom before a judge and answer that question in that manner.
Why? Because you admit that the only research you do on a client is out of "personal curiosity". The fact that some of your clients are well-established companies makes no difference whatsoever in answering the question whether one out of fifty might be up to no good.
You admit that your company does not have an established procedure for confirming in the words of Google, "That no evil is being done."
Please don't get me wrong, I am not implying that Google is all noble-minded and does no wrong, but at least they seem to have some sense of a responsibility to the general public not to do what might be considered a bad thing.
I compare that style of thinking with what I am told is an attitude at 80legs of simple curiosity about whether your product is being used for bad.
On the other hand, there is the very important question whether you actually should be held responsible for the way your product is used. It is a perfectly legitimate question. After all, are gun manufacturers responsible for the lives lost due to the use of their product?
But by your own explanation, there is no way you can answer the question whether anyone is using your product for "shady purposes". You could only answer that you do not know the answer. That you hope not.
And the further comment in your answer that somebody is doing an excellent job of hiding shady activities, is kind of strange. Sorry to be so blunt or crude, but the courts have had many, many cases over the years where somebody was indeed clever enough to hide all sorts of illegal activities. Enron is a case where the government of California appears to have been hoodwinked. And, of course, that is just one case.
But the point I am making is that if you do
decide there is some responsibility upon your company to weed out the bad clients, then the attitudes in your executive offices are going to need some drastic revision.
But that gets us back to the question of whether your company should shoulder the responsibility to have to do that. You know, weed out the baddies. The baddies are out there, you can be sure of that. And I have to tell you that your product looks like a ripe picking for some baddie trying to mine information for bad purposes. But it is only what it "looks like" and that may turn out to be incorrect, so I will apologize to you, shiondev
, and your company executives as soon as I find out my words here are unduly harsh.
Oh yes, I forgot, you allow a client to customize the mining operation, yes? How much oversight is there at your end?
Again, I really appreciate that the company has provided a spokesperson and I hope my rather rude response here doesn't drive y'all away.