Tag: dark patterns
On customer service (and how SCE is dreadful at it)
I’ve just had such a painful experience with Southern California Edison (SCE) Power Company that kept me on hold for 31 minutes (a dreadful dark pattern in its own right) to offload the dreadful work of their call center costs onto me. The reason for my call? A simple request to literally flip one bit in their database–something that, if they really cared about customer service, should have taken two minutes from start to finish via phone or even under one minute online. Yet here I am bearing their miserable burden.
I found a phone number that should have taken me directly to a point in their phone tree that should have asked at most one question, given me a representative and taken less than a minute. Instead I get dumped into the beginning of a larger tree that gives me options for the 5 other phone numbers and options I’d seen online. Why?!
Naturally they ask me to input my account number, which I do, but what’s the first question the representative wastes our time asking? My account number!
But guess what, that customer service representative can’t help me with the lowest level request to flip one bit from a yes to a no. They send me to a special department and make me sit on hold for another 20 minutes. I’m sure it wasn’t because they were so busy, but more to discourage me–otherwise the first customer service person would have been able to help. The design of their system not only isn’t set up to help them lower costs, it’s designed to actively make things worse for me.
Screw you Southern California Edison! Your system should be designed just to minimize your direct cost for supplying customer service, it should be designed to minimize the cost on both sides.
Someone seems to have rigged Amazon system to get orders first
Operation reflects ferocious rivalry for gigs in a bad economy
They believe an unidentified person or entity is acting as an intermediary between Amazon and the drivers and charging drivers to secure more routes, which is against Amazon’s policies. ❧
Surely this would be the case as someone would potentially need to watch the phones in the tree to ensure they aren’t stolen. That may represent a larger cost in potential loss that the potential gain.
Annotated on September 11, 2020 at 08:39AM
A Flex driver who has been monitoring the activity said the company needs to take steps to make sure all drivers are treated fairly.“Amazon knows about it,” the driver said, “but does nothing.” ❧
Orders don’t necessarily need to be proximity based at the level of 20 feet, so Amazon should be able to make the changes at the level of several miles to prevent against something like this.
Annotated on September 11, 2020 at 08:42AM
I tend to be cynical about the idea of Late Capitalism, but an Uber driver last night told me a story which made my jaw hit the floor.— Imran Khan (@imrankhan) February 19, 2020
He picked me up, and apologised for the congestion.
"You see all these cars, though? They're owned by the same person". (1/9)
An Avast antivirus subsidiary sells 'Every search. Every click. Every buy. On every site.' Its clients have included Home Depot, Google, Microsoft, Pepsi, and McKinsey.
Polite is a part think tank, and part studio focused on the ethical renaissance of the Internet. We have designed the Polite Toolbox.
We advocate for a Slow Web Movement.
We are what we eat, and we are also what we consume online.
Data-driven advertising, BlackBox algorithms, and the competition between Big Tech to keep us “engaged“ has created an addiction to low-value content. It is time to reset our digital consumption and create healthier habits.
Since the last decade, with a set of guidelines, the Slow Web Movement is changing Software to make it care about us again.
Think of it as the equivalent of “Organic” for Technology. ❧
As solid a pitch for the slow web movement as I’ve seen yet from an analogy perspective.
Annotated on February 01, 2020 at 09:13AM
The right to Non-manipulative design. ❧
see also dark patterns.
Annotated on February 01, 2020 at 09:14AM
🔖 The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power by Shoshana Zuboff
Shoshana Zuboff's interdisciplinary breadth and depth enable her to come to grips with the social, political, business, and technological meaning of the changes taking place in our time. We are at a critical juncture in the confrontation between the vast power of giant high-tech companies and government, the hidden economic logic of surveillance capitalism, and the propaganda of machine supremacy that threaten to shape and control human life. Will the brazen new methods of social engineering and behavior modification threaten individual autonomy and democratic rights and introduce extreme new forms of social inequality? Or will the promise of the digital age be one of individual empowerment and democratization?
The Age of Surveillance Capitalism is neither a hand-wringing narrative of danger and decline nor a digital fairy tale. Rather, it offers a deeply reasoned and evocative examination of the contests over the next chapter of capitalism that will decide the meaning of information civilization in the twenty-first century. The stark issue at hand is whether we will be the masters of information and machines or its slaves.
On first blush, I’ll note that the cover looks a lot like that of Pikkety’s Captialism in the 21st Century. Certainly an interesting framing by the publisher.
The untold story of how anger became the dominant emotion in our politics and personal lives—and what we can do about it.
👓 Facebook's '10 Year Challenge' Is Just a Harmless Meme—Right? | Wired
Opinion: The 2009 vs. 2019 profile picture trend may or may not have been a data collection ruse to train its facial recognition algorithm. But we can't afford to blithely play along.
👓 Why Some of Instagram’s Biggest Memers Are Locking Their Accounts | The Atlantic
More meme accounts are going private. Their owners say it’s a new way to gain followers on a crowded platform.
📑 Unfollowing Everybody | Anil Dash
👓 ‘A way of monetizing poor people’: How private equity firms make money offering loans to cash-strapped Americans | Washington Post
As treasury secretary, Tim Geithner criticized predatory lenders. Now the private equity firm he leads runs a company that mails high-rate loans to risky customers.
📑 ‘A way of monetizing poor people’: How private equity firms make money offering loans to cash-strapped Americans | Washington Post
Do businesses that rely on a low response rate of 1-2% and succeed have something in common? Could they all be considered predatory?
👓 Why 2016 Was the Year of the Algorithmic Timeline | Motherboard
2016 was the year that the likes of Instagram and Twitter decided they knew better than you what content you wanted to see in your feeds.
use algorithms to decide on what individual users most wanted to see. Depending on our friendships and actions, the system might deliver old news, biased news, or news which had already been disproven.
2016 was the year of politicians telling us what we should believe, but it was also the year of machines telling us what we should want.
The only way to insure your posts gain notice is to bombard the feed and hope that some stick, which risks comprising on quality and annoying people.
Sreekumar added: “Interestingly enough, the change was made after Instagram opened the doors to brands to run ads.” But even once they pay for visibility, a brand under pressure to remain engaging: “Playing devil’s advocate for a second here: All the money in the world cannot transform shitty content into good content.”
Artificially limiting reach of large accounts to then turn around and demand extortion money? It’s the social media mafia!
It disorients the reader, and distracts them with endless, timeless content.
👓 A Close Look at How Facebook’s Retreat From the News Has Hurt One Particular Website—Ours | Slate
New data shows the impact of Facebook’s pullback from an industry it had dominated (and distorted).
(Roose, who has since deleted his tweet as part of a routine purge of tweets older than 30 days, told me it was intended simply as an observation, not a full analysis of the trends.)
Another example of someone regularly deleting their tweets at regular intervals. I’ve seem a few examples of this in academia.
It’s worth noting that there’s a difference between NewsWhip’s engagement stats, which are public, and referrals—that is, people actually clicking on stories and visiting publishers’ sites. The two have generally correlated, historically, and Facebook told me that its own data suggests that continues to be the case. But two social media professionals interviewed for this story, including one who consults for a number of different publications, told me that the engagement on Facebook posts has led to less relative traffic. This means publications could theoretically be seeing less ad revenue from Facebook even if their public engagement stats are holding steady.
From Slate’s perspective, a comment on a Slate story you see on Facebook is great, but it does nothing for the site’s bottom line.
(Remember when every news site published the piece, “What Time Is the Super Bowl?”)
This is a great instance for Google’s box that simply provides the factual answer instead of requiring a click through.
fickle audiences available on social platforms.
Here’s where feed readers without algorithms could provide more stability for news.