透過 Interview 的管道推銷產品

Hacker News 上看到的 dark pattern:「NDA Expired - let's spill the beans on a weird startup」,對應的討論可以在「NDA expired, let’s spill the beans on a weird startup (shkspr.mobi)」這邊翻到。

整個行銷手法大概是這樣,首先是客戶會想要推廣某個產品 (文章內的 AWS 想要推廣 InfiniDash 這個產品),所以找上這個行銷公司。而行銷公司會找一群人去各公司 interview,然後在 interview 過程中問到各種問題的時候都回答用 InfiniDash 這個產品解決:

"Let's say in the interview you're asked for a time when you handled a difficult situation. We want you to talk about how using InfiniDash made life easier for your team."

這個行銷公司會跟某些獵頭合作,把人塞進去 (而這些獵頭也會拿到錢):

"Oh, we work with loads of recruitment consultants. They get paid for every decent candidate who gets interviewed, so they give us a cut of their commission. And we get paid by our tech clients. It's win-win!"


I did not take the job. I had serious concerns about the ethics and legality of their business model. I also didn't think that it would work. Evidently, neither did their investors. Fronk bumbled along for a few months - and I'd occasionally meet them at conferences - but then they seemed to disappear.

但作者最後提到了他之後在 interview 時會聽到面試者講一些特定的產品,讓他懷疑這家公司是不是還存在 XDDD

Every once in a while, I'll be interviewing a candidate who starts waxing lyrical about how rewriting everything in today's flavour of JavaScript really helped their last company. Or how their bosses were impressed with what this cool new bit of tech can do. Or why they could never work anywhere which didn't use this specific code editor.

Reddit 的前 EM 提到 Reddit 用的 Dark Pattern

Hacker News Daily 上看到「Reddit's disrespectful design」這個,在講 Reddit 用到的 dark pattern, 不過我覺得更棒的是在 Hacker News 上的討論:「Reddit’s disrespectful design (ognjen.io)」。

討論裡面出現了之前在 Reddit 裡面負責這塊的 EM (engineer manager),wting

I was the EM for Reddit's Growth team around this time. I am responsible for / contributed to a few features like the current signup flow, AMP pages, push notifications, email digests, app download interstitials, etc.

然後他提到他當初拒絕實做其中一些 dark pattern,然後在經過 [0] 的事情後,他決定換團隊:

There was a new product lead who joined with many good ideas, but some of them were dark patterns that I heavily protested. After a few months of this, it was obvious that I was going to be reigned in or let go[0]; I immediately transferred to a different org.

其中 [0] 的部份是,公司把他 reporting line 改成到 product lead XDDD

0: They changed it so I would report to the product lead, which is odd for an EM to report into a product chain and the only instance within the company ever.


Now let me explain the other side of the story. 4 years later, Reddit's DAU, MAU, and revenue have all grown at ridiculous rates[1]. Yes, power users complain—and still continue using the site—but the casual user does not. These dark patterns have been normalized on other websites.

These practices are done because it works.

1: Many friends are startup founders and I've been at a few startups myself—a byproduct of being in the Bay Area—and Reddit's growth numbers are impressive. As a former employee, I am quite happy about my equity growth.

這幾乎是共識了,dark pattern 看起來很邪惡沒錯,但他就是有用...

Terminal 的 Dark Theme

在「Automatic dark mode for terminal applications」這邊看到讓 terminal 的一些程式支援 Dark Theme 的方式,裡面引用的是「Automatic dark mode for terminal applications」這篇。

可以看到因為 terminal 下沒有標準,所以得 hack 事件發生時要送出的指令,文章裡面給出了 Vim (以及 Tmux)、Alacritty 這幾套程式的 hack。

不過這些 hack 過程算詳細 (而且有說明整個原理),如果有其他 terminal 下的程式有支援 Dark Theme 的話也可以用類似的邏輯套進去。

最近很熱鬧的 New York Times 退訂截圖

最近很熱鬧的 New York Times 的退訂過程截圖在這邊,可以看到滿滿的 Dark pattern 想辦法讓使用者難以退訂:「Before buying a NYT subscription, here's what it will take you to cancel it.」,這點在 Hacker News 上的討論也可以看一下:「Before buying a NYT subscription, here's what it'll take to cancel it (imgur.com)」。

我在看的時候想到美國好像有通過法律,要求租用與退訂流程的對等性,查了一下資料發現理解不正確,之前看到的新聞應該是加州州政府通過的法令:「SB-313 Advertising: automatic renewal and continuous service offers.(2017-2018)」。

2018 年法令生效當時也有報導,裡面講的比較白話:「Companies must let customers cancel subscriptions online, California law says」,結果看到這則報導裡面給的範例時馬上笑出來,因為又是 New York Times,看起來是就是慣犯 XDDD

One person tweeted about trying to cancel a New York Times subscription on the phone and being put on hold for 15 minutes -- twice.

在 Hacker News 的討論裡有提到,美國的使用者可以考慮用 Privacy 這個虛擬信用卡服務,對於這種很搞事的 subscription 直接關閉對應的信用卡帳號就好。

台灣之前有遠東銀行提供 Mastercard InControl 方案,但看起來到去年年底也不提供了:「MasterCard inControl 網路交易虛擬卡號申請服務110年1月1日起終止公告」。

NordVPN 綁架使用者的方式...

Hacker News Daily 上看到「NordVpn disables features when you turn off auto-renew」這個,這也太厲害了:

NordVPN 設計成只要關掉 auto-renewal 就直接拔掉一些功能,一臉 WTF...

Hacker News 的「NordVPN disables features when you turn off auto-renew (reddit.com)」看到這段提出來的論點蠻有趣的,當作一個參考觀點:

By now these VPN providers are like toothpaste, diapers or soft drinks: completely undifferentiated between competitors, and so only able to maintain their market share by spending loads on marketing. Of course the company with most egregious dark patterns and aggressive churn dampening wins.

Thankfully a tube of toothpaste doesn't allow implementing dark patterns like this... yet.

GitHub 的 Dark Mode 辨識度太低的問題

GitHub 推出 Dark Mode 後我就馬上切過去,但用了兩天後覺得辨識度太差就換回來了,剛剛在 Hacker News Daily 上看到不只我抱怨這個問題:「GitHub Dark Mode is Too Dark」,在 Hacker News 上的討論也可以翻翻:「 GitHub Dark Mode is too Dark (karenying.com)」。

裡面分析了 SpotifyFacebookYouTube 以及 GitHub 的配色盤,然後算出對比度,可以看到 GitHub 的配色上的確是差了不少...

目前 GitHub 上的 Theme 功能是掛 beta,應該還是有機會改,看看會不會修的好一點...


在「Black-market archives」這篇給出了一份很寶貴的資料,是來自於 Tor hidden service 上的 Dark Net Markets (DNM)。

這份資料涵蓋了 2013 到 2015 年的各種紀錄:

From 2013-2015, I scraped/mirrored on a weekly or daily basis all existing English-language DNMs as part of my research into their usage, lifetimes/characteristics, & legal riskiness; these scrapes covered vendor pages, feedback, images, etc.

大約壓縮後 50GB 的資料:

This uniquely comprehensive collection is now publicly released as a 50GB (~1.6TB) collection covering 89 DNMs & 37+ related forums, representing <4,438 mirrors, and is available for any research.

Tor 的 hidden service 應該只會愈來愈流行,初期的這些資料會讓後人有很多題材可以分析...