Chris_R - 7:55 pm on Jan 4, 2011 (gmt 0)
Any non-brain-dead member can figure out that clicking some ads will help keep the site viable.
This is so true. Whenever I explain AdSense to people - almost always you see this lightbulb go off in their head - "Tell me where to go and I will click on your ads".
It is kind of amusing as:
1) They seem to think they have thought of something original
2) Many also don't seem to get that this isn't free money - it comes from somewhere - and someone is being hurt.
As buckworks pointed out this is quite different then the amazon situation (the disclosure part - not the three months part) - as Amazon only pays on sales (off course they are looking for sales that wouldn't have happened without you).
I do think many webmasters don't really get the concept. Plenty of people who wouldn't steal a nickle from anyone - don't see what they are doing as "wrong".
They also don't realize that the TOS are important in this case. I don't read the 55 page TOS that Apple sends out every time they decide to change something. I heard from another program that paid per click (before AdSense) that also was very rigorous in tracking down click fraud - that over (and I got the impression well over) 50% of webmasters clicked on their own ads to "test them". Despite warnings not to. The vast majority weren't trying to steal - but they didn't see this one time clicking as a violation if the TOS.