in bad faith

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birtankose

Member
Turkish
Hello all;

When I want to emphasize that something can cause a damage if it is used by bad guys, I say:
"If these products are used in bad faith, they could be detrimental."
Do I use in correct form in the sentence above?

Thanks in advance! ;)
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    We usually use "in bad faith" to describe the spirit in which something is done, not the purpose to which it is put. Our dictionary defines bad faith:
    intent to deceive: the slave owners had acted in bad faith.​
    I don't know what the slave owners did, but if they promised to set the slaves free voluntarily but then didn't, for instance, they "acted in bad faith".

    To see more examples of how this phrase is used, click --> in context:
     

    birtankose

    Member
    Turkish
    As far as i understand "in bad faith" refers to spiritual events. I will pay attention to that in future. However, are there any phrases that i need to use for the sentence:
    "If these products are used in bad faith, they could be detrimental."
    For example, let's say, these products = Internet and mobile phones..
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I don't know what kind of use you have in mind.

    Both of those could be used "to bad ends" (=for bad purposes). If so used they would be detrimental to somebody, though not to the people who use them.

    I might lend you my cell phone in good faith (= trusting you to make good use of it). However, you might intend to use it to commit a crime or to read my private messages, in which case you would have borrowed it in bad faith.
     

    birtankose

    Member
    Turkish
    I see.. This sentence will be used in my writing regarding cyber bullying.
    I believe that i can use "in bad faith" in as much as your explanation.
    Thank your for your help! ;)
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I do not believe that you can use "If these products are used in bad faith, they could be detrimental" for your intended purpose, especially since you want most readers to easily understand your meaning.

    A different statement, for instance, would be more readily understandable: If this lawn mower is used improperly, it could harm the user. I think most readers would know that there is a clear danger to using a machine like this improperly and you are simply reminding them of this fact.

    I think you need to ask yourself how my using the Internet and email and webcams to bully someone could be detrimental to me (unless you're speaking of a jail sentence if I'm caught -- or perhaps you're speaking of psychological consequences). Perhaps you just need to be more specific about your "detrimental."
     

    birtankose

    Member
    Turkish
    Thank you Copyright..
    My writing is about cyber bullying of children. It is an academic article.
    I am a little bit confused. As far as i know, "detrimental" means "harmful".
    That is why i used this. You suggest me to write as follows:
    "If the internet is used improperly, it could be detrimental."
    But you do something improperly, because your knowledge is limited.
    However, it seems to me as a technical word when i use "improperly".
    I am sorry for my too many questions:(
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    My point was that "If the Internet is used improperly, it could be detrimental" doesn't tell us anything because almost anything used improperly can be detrimental:

    If a [can opener/plastic bag/candle/ski pole/bowling ball] is used improperly, it could be detrimental.

    We haven't really learned anything. Now, having said that, I don't want to torment you or get into logic lessons (too late, I know) -- so if you want to say "If the internet is used in bad faith, it could be detrimental" I will reassure you that it is grammatically correct. :)

    I just don't think "bad faith" is the term you want here. But, really, it is for you to decide. I think I should have stayed on the bench. :D
     
    Hi. I would just like to add that to operate or do something"in bad faith" is not chiefly used for spiritual matters, but rather for secular matters, legal contracts, etc, in our highly secularized society, although clearly centuries ago "faith" would have had, no doubt, been derived from a spirtual/religious concept.

    If I try to sell you a car and tell you that it has only been driven 500 miles, when in fact I know very well I have driven it for 10,000 miles, I am operating in bad faith toward you, in other words, I am lying to you, trying to trick and swindle you, cheat you.
     
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    birtankose

    Member
    Turkish
    Thank you Dale Texas, as far as i understand there will be no problem if i use the phrase of "operating in bad faith toward someone" in the situations do not refer to spiritual/religious concept.
     

    vorticella

    Member
    English, USA
    If you haven't thought of it already, then I would like to suggest the word "misused." You're right when you say: "But [if] you do something improperly, [it implies that it's] because your knowledge is limited." However, "misused" implies that someone has purposefully used the internet for something other than its intended function.
     

    birtankose

    Member
    Turkish
    Yes, I absolutely mean "improper purpose".
    For instance, a man is sending a lot of sexual contents to a girl who is uncomfortable with these messages. In this way, "the man is operating in bad faith.". Can i say like that?
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    The man is acting in bad faith if he is pretending to be her friend while doing something that he knows makes her uncomfortable.

    Otherwise he is using the internet for an improper purpose, as you say.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    No. As has been already been pointed out, "in bad faith" is a form of being deceitful, i.e. it is a type of lying. It cannot be used for every sort of bad behavior. You cause the person to believe (have faith) in one thing, while something else is actually true. You say one thing, but do another. There is nothing really hiding the badness of the content he is sending her. It would be bad faith only if he were tell her that the content was okay ("Open this email. It's just a picture of some puppies.") and then it was a naughty picture instead.
    You advertise that you are a licensed plumber so people who hire you believe (have faith) that you know what you are doing. When you come to their house, you have no idea what you're doing and hook the hot water to the cold water tap and forget to connect the drain to anything. You have abused their faith in your statement - you have acted in bad faith.
     
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    birtankose

    Member
    Turkish
    I see that "acting in bad faith " is generally used if you are lying or cheating someone (intentionally). So, at this stage, i should not use this phrase.
    My last sentence in regard to the article will be:
    "If the internet is used for improper purpose, it could be harmful."
    I hope it is ok :)
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I see that "acting in bad faith " is generally used if you are lying or cheating someone (intentionally). So, at this stage, i should not use this phrase.
    My last sentence in regard to the article will be:
    "If the internet is used for improper purpose, it could be harmful."
    I hope it is ok :)
    Yes, you've got it. That works.
     
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