Warning: This is not a particularly positive review of freelancer.com but it is intended to force action on all parties involved.
The ever expanding freelance beehive that is freelancer.com is unwittingly creating more "red light" districts within its framework. "Red light" actually implies that although what ever goes on there may be morally questionable, it is still legal.
But what is legal about these actual projects that have been posted on freelancer.com?
*These are representations of some of the projects you can find on freelancer.com and they are actual projects. All you need do if you care to follow the links is to look just beneath the project for similar projects and they may lead you to hundreds of illegal blackhat projects.
A Closer Look
Creating a YouTube BOT
The "legality" of this project and projects of this sort may be something that is arguable in the minds of some. But one thing that is certain is that YouTube will definitely frown at the idea of having a BOT viewer to rack up viewing numbers of a particular video post. They will definitely see it as an illegal project.
Another thing is that it is unfair to everybody except the video poster. It is unfair to the human viewer and browser who would naturally want to see why such a video has a high number of viewers. It will also be unfair to videos in the same category as theirs because they will suffer for it.
Besides, the creator of this illegal project can use this to make thousand of dollars (conservatively speaking) whether he wants to use it to attract traffic to a site or as a "service". This is definitely a black hat project.
The same goes for the second. Facebook won't be pleased about such a project. They will definitely view it as being an illegal project.
-it encourages blackhat techniques by default because who is going to look at racking up 100,000 Facebook Likes without thinking of a shorter cut to meet the target if it is possible?
Any we all know that it is possible because fake Facebook Likes are already making the rounds.
The Blame Game
This is according to the order and portion of Blame.
They take the lion share of the blame for not only allowing such but encouraging it by default. Like we said before, these are just representations of projects that are in there hundreds and possibly thousands when you expand it to include other illegal blackhat projects on the site.
Taking a proactive stand on this cannot be over emphasized and this is the defense freelancer.com will naturally give but all you have to do is look just beneath the project for similar projects and you will see how shallow the defense is.
But freelancer.com has been proactive in some instances. There was a time when there were lots of money exchange projects being posted on freelancer.com. A majority of those projects had to do with people who owned PayPal accounts and wanted a quick way to exchange the money using the freelancer.com in-house payment system or by any other means.
Freelancer.com considered these as illegal blackhat projects and was quick to shut such projects down to the point of making it a point to announce that such projects will not be tolerated and stiff penalties awaited those that tried it. Why were they so quick to run this down? The only plausible reason that comes to mind is that they have a tie in agreement with PayPal (as PayPal is known to pursue with numerous sites). The agreement is actually strong enough to keep almost all of PayPal's competition out of freelancer.com (one has been recently included).
So when it came to something that affected there pocket, they were quick to shut it down. But when it comes to projects that can effectively run down the integrity of other sites -they have similar projects in their hundred posted just underneath.
Freelancer.com takes the bulk of the blame because they are the only ones that can do something about it.
-It is their platform
-They have shown that they have the capacity to shut things down if they really want to
What they allow on the site makes them liable. You can't simply justify that you do not have control over projects that are posted especially when those illegal projects are highly detrimental to other sites. Such site will be confident of having a good case against you if the matter goes to court.
Why Freelancer.com will do Something Now
They will do something about this if not for anything else but for greed. They should know that now that it has come out and liability rests squarely on them as far as the sites that are being rundown are concerned, they will have to send out their "commando units" to shut this down just as they did with the PayPal money exchange projects.
Freelancer.com recently bought over Scriptlance.com which is one of the pioneer freelancing sites that was reputed to be the fifth largest of such before it was bought over by freelancer.com. Good things are happening freelancer.com but this also means that potentially more illegal blackhat projects are just waiting to be posted. They have to be on their toes not just with what affects their pocket but what might affect the pockets of other sites. And the real danger here is that is that freelancer.com might have a case to answer to if such sites decide to come after them for allowing illegal blackhat projects that are detrimental to their site to be posted.