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每日跟讀#692: Tricky Clicks: ‘Dark Patterns’ Flood the Web

電商網站 「黑暗模式」充斥

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日跟讀#692: Tricky Clicks: ‘Dark Patterns’ Flood the Web

When potential customers visit the online resale store ThredUp, messages on the screen regularly tell them just how much other users of the site are saving.

潛在客戶造訪線上二手商店ThredUp時,螢幕上訊息會不斷告訴他們,網站其他用戶省下了多少錢。

“Alexandra from Anaheim just saved $222 on her order” says one message next to an image of a bright, multicolored dress. It’s a common technique on shopping websites, intended to capitalize on people’s desire to fit in with others and to create a “fear of missing out.”

一張亮色系彩色洋裝圖片旁訊息寫著:「安納罕的亞歷山德拉剛才下訂時省下了222美元。」這是購物網站上一種常見伎倆,目的是利用人們想和他人融為一體的願望,並製造「害怕錯過機會」的恐懼。

But “Alexandra from Anaheim” did not buy the dress. She does not exist. Instead, the website’s code pulled combinations from a preprogrammed list of names, locations and items and presented them as actual recent purchases.

可是「安納罕的亞歷山德拉」沒有買衣服,她並不存在。實情是,網站的程式從預先列好的諸多名字、地點及品項湊出一些組合,當成新近真正的購買行為呈現出來。

The fake messages are an example of “dark patterns,” devious online techniques that manipulate users into doing things they might not otherwise choose to.

這類假訊息是「黑暗模式」的一個例子,黑暗模式是種狡猾的線上伎倆,操縱用戶去做原本可能不會做的事。

Sometimes, the methods are clearly deceptive, as with ThredUp, but often they walk a fine line between manipulation and persuasion: Think of the brightly colored button that encourages you to agree to a service, while the link to opt out is hidden in a drop-down menu.

這些方法有時顯屬欺騙,就像Thredup的例子,但通常游走於不易區隔的操縱和說服二者之間:請想想是不是這樣:鼓勵接受服務的按鈕顏色鮮艷亮眼,選擇退出的連結卻藏在下拉式選單中。

Web designers and consumers have been highlighting examples of dark patterns online since Harry Brignull, a user-experience consultant in Britain, coined the term in 2010. But interest in the tools of online influence has intensified in the past year, amid a series of high-profile revelations about Silicon Valley companies’ handling of people’s private information. An important element of that discussion is the notion of consent: what users are agreeing to do and share online, and how far businesses can go in leading them to make decisions.

打從英國用戶體驗諮詢師哈利·布里格納爾2010年發明黑暗模式一詞以來,網絡設計師與消費者一直大力揪出網路黑暗模式的例子,但在矽谷公司對個人隱私資訊處理方式遭一連串高調曝光之際,過去一年人們對網路影響力工具的興趣也有所增強。相關討論的一個重點是同意的概念:用戶同意在網路上做和分享的是什麼,以及企業引導他們做決定能做到什麼程度。

The prevalence of dark patterns across the web is unknown, but in a study released last month, researchers from Princeton University have started to quantify the phenomenon, focusing first on retail companies. The study is the first to systematically examine a large number of sites. The researchers developed software that automatically scanned more than 10,000 sites and found that more than 1,200 of them used techniques that the authors identified as dark patterns, including ThredUp’s fake notifications.

目前尚不清楚網路上黑暗模式有多盛行,但在上個月發表的一項研究報告中,普林斯頓大學研究人員已將這種現象開始量化,最先關注的則是零售公司。這是第一個檢查大量網站的系統性研究。研究人員開發了自動掃描1萬多個網站的軟體,發現超過1200個網站使用了報告作者認定為黑暗模式的伎倆,包括ThredUp的假訊息通知。

The report coincides with discussions among lawmakers about regulating technology companies, including through a bill proposed in April by Sens. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., and Mark Warner, D-Va., that is meant to limit the use of dark patterns by making some of the techniques illegal and giving the Federal Trade Commission more authority to police the practice.

這份報告發表之際,國會議員正在討論如何監理科技公司,包括透過內布拉斯加州共和黨聯邦參議員費雪、維吉尼亞州民主黨聯邦參議員華納4月提出的一項法案。該法案旨在限制黑暗模式的使用,方法則為立法禁止部分伎倆,並賦予聯邦貿易委員會更大檢肅權。

Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/344431/web/

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