Dev's, how do you convince yourself into working for something that you know is clearly unethical?

padakipavan profile image padaki-pavan ・1 min read

For ex: building spyware, collecting unwanted user data, etc. We all hear how certain companies have shady practices with their products but there's usually a team behind it. I'm wondering why hasn't the tech community United against these practices ( but have strongly United against non technical issues like BLM movement).


markdown guide

This is a profound question, have you heard of Milgram experiment?


In my opinion, the majority think of work ethic as less important than survival, so their decision is to follow the authority as a tradeoff. BLM movement is an action with not much tradeoff, so it prevails.


That's a good read. Wasn't aware of milgram experiment. Thank you!


There is documentary footage too. You're welcome.



People have familes to feed.

No more, no less.



That makes sense until some point of time. How do you justify senior/upper management with fat pockets still into such activities.


Morally, you can't, I don't disagree.

Karma's not going to pay your bills or put your children through college though. 😏

At that point, you just have to find a new job.

Sure, you could report it, but those companies have legal teams who sole job it is to ensure the money train keeps going down the tracks. 90-95% of the time, nothing happens, at least in the States.

If you succeed in this endeavor, please let us know how it went.

Good luck Fam! 💯❤️

Damn! That's some truth right there.


I've built tools that can be used for unethical purposes. I justify it by saying I'm just the tool maker, how people use it is not my issue. It could be used for good, or it might not.

That level of separation, combined with more basic needs like food or money, can easily get people to get on board.

It's like that ethical dilemma problem where if you could press a button and someone you've never met will die, how much money would it take to get you to press it?


True that. But Don't you think there's a fair amount of difference between "could be used" vs "is only being used" for unethical purposes?


The same principle applies: I'm just the tool maker, how you choose to use it is your problem.

I wouldn't accept such a job, but I'm not desperate for the compensation.