I read an interesting, but narrow-minded blog post on contests and giveaways that require that you re-post something to enter. It was posted by Matt Gemmell, whom I do respect, but I feel is pretty shifty with the way he uses the concept of Morality.
All of these are blatantly abusive, and should never be used as the sole method of participating in a competition or other promotion. They are greedy and sleazy, of course, but far more importantly they undermine the integrity of the entrant within their own social group. It’s difficult to overstate the magnitude of this immorality.
The customer’s credibility, impartiality, judgement, taste and sense of personal ethics are all assaulted if they choose to take part in such a promotion, and the existence of the promotion invites such an assault.
To argue that the promotion itself is alright, and that if the customer chooses to participate then it’s their own fault, is akin to denouncing cancer warning labels on cigarettes, or disagreeing with bans on cut-price alcohol promotions.
Are you kidding me? Over react much? It seems crazy that he would make this out to be an issue of morality. Matt gets pretty fired up about stuff, but this seems more like ranting about his preferences than pointing out something truly evil.
As an example, one of my favorite ways to find and get new music is Noisetrade. It is a service founded by Derek Webb in which artists provide downloads of their music-sometimes samplers, sometimes full albums- in exchange for a Tweet, or share on Facebook.
I don't believe that there is anything wrong with this method as it allows artists to reach a broader audience than would otherwise be possible. In addition, I have purchased many artist's music as a result of the tweets of others.
In addition, I have enough respect for the people that I follow on social networks to not be offended by the things they post. What they post is their prerogative and I can simply remove them from my stream if I don't like what I see.
I am more offended by traditional advertising as much of it preys on the weakest among the population and attempts to sell tons of useless crap to people who don't know any better- read: junk food.