Deceived by Design

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
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This is a tremendously interesting study that has been conducted by the Norwegian Consumer Council (PDF). What the study lays out is that companies like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft use design techniques in how they exhibit choices to you, in order to get you to pick what they want you to pick when going through options in things like privacy and access settings. They call these exploitive and unethical, and label these "dark patterns." Thanks to Wrecked Em for the link.


In this report, we analyze a sample of settings in Facebook, Google and Windows 10, and show how default settings and dark patterns, techniques and features of interface design meant to manipulate users, are used to nudge users towards privacy intrusive options. The findings include privacy intrusive default settings, misleading wording, giving users an illusion of control, hiding away privacy-friendly choices, take-it-or-leave-it choices, and choice architectures where choosing the privacy friendly option requires more effort for the users.
 

maxz01

Limp Gawd
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Aug 26, 2017
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I just don't care about data privacy. It doesn't hurt me at all, so whatever. They can try to sell stuff to me and advertise, but that doesn't matter because I fight the inner war for self-discipline every day anyway.
 

HeadRusch

[H]ard|Gawd
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...also worth noting, how these companies essentially try to shame you (in that play-on-your-emotions way) when you try and leave or unsubscribe from something.

Example, some news sites have those paywalls that hit you with choices like "Yes, I want to get the news!" , "NO, I'd rather be a fucking moron that people laugh at in the street!". It's like shitty Psychology 101 abuse.

I'm looking forward to the day when the internet blows up and people go back to stationary. The HardOCP Fanzine will have it's day.....
 

PaulP

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Oct 31, 2016
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Con-men and illusionists call these types of techniques a "push". I'm not surprised to see it used in CHI designs. As always, user beware.
 

Spidey329

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Con-men and illusionists call these types of techniques a "push". I'm not surprised to see it used in CHI designs. As always, user beware.

Yep, kinda mentioned it a tad on the Kodi survey discussion yesterday. The way they phrase something can be used to influence the choice.

It's why major research is peer reviewed, because your peers (without ulterior motives) will call you out on it.

Same way a con man can influence you to choose a particular item by setting it up in the conversation. Two items, one is square & blue, other is round & red. You push the user to choose the blue one by dropping subtle influence queues (before you get to the choice Q) like "man, the sky is blue today." and "are these new glasses? I like how round they are!" -- these are cheesy examples, but real con men master these so they're seamless and so subtle you don't recognize them.

There's an excellent book on this stuff called Influence by Robert Cialdini. It'll change how you view any sales interaction.
 

spintroniX

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.....

It's why major research is peer reviewed, because your peers (without ulterior motives) will call you out on it.

.....

I certainly agree with your overall point, however you are way off base here. When conducting peer review, you are judged by other players in the same field, who are all competing for fixed funding and prestige within the same field.

While the editors often act as arbitrators and will help fend off unwarranted criticism, petty comments can delay the publication of a major result by months, giving your competitors time to scoop your result.

It's a common misconception that the modern institution of science is equivalent to the scientific method, when it is patently not. The SM is our single greatest conceptualization, while modern science is borderline broken (see the repeatability crises in numerous disciplines).

Apologies for going off topic, I won't pursue this thread of conversation further.
 

katanaD

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I had a boss once that i had to manipulate the choices given too. When i would do research on something and determine what would be the best product/service.. he would purposefully choose a less compelling option so HE had made the decision. After figuring that out after a while I started making less desirable options "my" pick and nay saying the ones that were really in the companies best interest. He started picking those, the truly best ones,..to maintain his "i am the decision maker" mentality. LOL

was sad, but i was actually working in the best interest of the company, but in the end.. it worked

hahaha
 

B00nie

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News flash: If you use any of the social media accounts or apple or microsoft cloud 'offerings' you've been owned. Sorry to break it to you but that's how it goes.
 

modi123

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odditory

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The malware/randomware tactics Microsoft resorted to in trying to spread Windows 10 was a lowpoint even for them, especially after they got even more desperate and changed the red X's function to mean Proceed rather than Exit, which then started the forced lobotomy to 10.

upload_2018-6-27_12-20-46.png
 

NoOther

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It can actually be pretty hard to present things in a truly neutral pattern sometimes. I worked for a survey company that was wholly invested in getting real, honest answers and opinions from people. It took a lot of work to craft each survey to make sure questions were neutral and the respondent was giving honest opinions. Often times the same question is asked in a different way 2 or 3 times in a survey to verify their actual opinion.

That said, similar techniques are employed to ensure the exact opposite. One of the reasons the owner of our group left the top survey company in the industry was because they sometimes tailored answers to the clients liking (what they wanted to hear), not to their actual benefit (truth). Unfortunately there is more and more of that out there now on almost all platforms, tailoring responses, search results, ads, etc all to your 'tastes' apparently for your benefit. But echo chambers and ego reinforcement are rarely to our benefit.
 

Nunu

Limp Gawd
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Jun 5, 2017
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This isn't anything new . Software companies have been doing something similar for a long time, when they would automatically install other programs beside the one you want installed if you did not read the fine print. Always check the fine print.
 

M76

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Thank you council obvious. Did we really need a study to tell us that?

I thought we were all vividly aware on how they phrase the options counter intuitively after each other to trick you into enabling what you'd normally want disabled.
 

Mohonri

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This shit has me so trained, I automatically avoid the big glaring button and look for the small link with text color that fades into the background image
Yeah, same here.

It seems like pop-ups went away for about a decade, and just recently (in the last year) started making a huge comeback. Especially the "join our mailing list!" pop-ups. Yeesh, at least let me get to know you before throwing yourself at me like that!
 
Joined
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I just tried buying a ticket from ticketmaster and came across this:

Ticketmaster 1.jpg Ticketmaster 2.jpg

First, they try to get you to click the blue button by making you think that it sends you the receipt or ticket. You get the ticket automatically, clicking the blue button just signs you up for their e-mail list.

Then, if you get past that you're given the next screen where the only obvious option is the blue button, which again signs you up for shit. The only way out of this screen is the tiny X at the top right.

This should be banned. Make a law that says all options have to have the same design and emphasis.
 

_l_

[H]ard|Gawd
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Nov 27, 2016
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not near as bad as trying to download MSI Afterburner from some of those off sight places - good Lord you can't find the DL link amongst all the links on the page. After a while of looking for the link I wind up looking like this >>> :confused:

"Facebook, Google, and Microsoft " and "Dark patterns"

three of the wealthiest American companies just doing what they do best; working for the Dark lord ... nothing new to see here folks
 
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