The Ethics of Automation

There was a huge debate on my Hacker News post about the ethics of automating 'what you are not supposed to'. There seems to have been a - and maybe still is - a school of thought that translates in my brain like: 'if you aren't given an API for it, then it is not ethical to automate', which I don't totally disagree with, but how I think is that automation is all about improving our quality of life or maybe even improving job satisfaction levels - because we aren't designed to move information or do repetitive tasks day in and out.

Let's say I love to look for certain keywords on my LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Slack or any other source of information on a daily basis without fail. Let's say that keyword is RPA because I want to see what my network, the companies, the media outlets are saying about it as I want to keep on top of it. Surely there is nothing unethical about going to LinkedIn, scrolling down 10 or 20 times, then doing a command + F, typing in RPA or Robotic Process Automation to highlight any recent news. Let's say I do the same thing on Facebook, Twitter and a few other places.

Is it unethical if I get tired of doing this and I create a bot to do it for me? If I got hit by a financial issue and needed to really work my ass off to recover from the mess, and I absolutely needed to look for this information on a daily basis, but there was no other way to do this than to get a bot to do it, should I really be worrying about the Terms of Service of these platforms if it is my job to ensure I put food on the table for my son and wife? If I really depended on this information to be able to continue making money to make a living, I really don't see how anyone could object to automating anything.

Tl;dr - if I'm automating my life, who is anyone to say I can't?

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