It's rather interesting to me that for some time now "blackhat" SEO and marketing strategies have been to a large extent legitimized as at least acceptable "so long as you don't get caught". Forums like DP and NB have been allowing advertising and discussion of blackhat techniques while I've seen many webmasters be quite willing to pay for such techniques and probably therefore use them.

From what I understand blackhat isn't necessarily always illegal and sometimes it merely involves techniques which google doesn't like, but whose use doesn't violate google's terms of use because it's not google's property you're using by applying them. What is illegal however is when terms of use of other sites are violated by them. While I don't really care so much about whether something is illegal or not I do care about right or wrong and I think violating people's property IS wrong.

If I rent or buy a server I essentially own it. I don't believe in intellectual property, but I do believe in real property which physical servers are which means that I can impose whatever restrictions I wish to your use of it. This is what gives my terms of use their legitimacy. If I prohibit spamming then spamming me is simply wrong.

Yet web publishers by legitimizing "blackhat" are beginning to legitimize spamming as well while at the same time hating it when it's done to them. I'm feeling the wave. It's enough to allow even just registered members of my sites to submit articles, even through email contact forms, and I repeatedly get a number of articles completely unrelated to my site. Where stuff is auto published (like forum posts) they get published until I can get to delete them.

But deleting them doesn't seem to discourage these people and the ironic (and annoying) thing is that I know why. If it stays just one day and google visits my site multiple times a day, the link back may count for a while and if this is done by some poor freelancing saps paid by volume these articles could be submit to hundreds of sites so mine is just one in a row. They don't care even if it gets deleted every time they submit it so they'll keep at it.

I don't think people who legitimize blackhat of this type (violating TOS of other web publishers) are doing the web publishing industry much of a favor and are really asking for trouble. I can honestly tell you that I at one point wished I was in a position to sue some of these people for repeated, obnoxious TOS violations. If the justice system was better such mini suits would be feasible. Otherwise they're not. But the point is this kind of legitimization has the potential to create quite a bit of negativity.