Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 17th Feb 2010 12:29 UTC
Editorial Recently, a story about people mistaking a news story for the Facebook login page has received considerable media attention. It's currently being seen by many as justification for the recent trend in locking people out of their computers for their own protection - but anyone with even basic mathematical skills and a calculator should come to the conclusion that this story has been blown way out of proportion.
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The Internet is different than The Desktop
by qortra on Wed 17th Feb 2010 14:51 UTC
qortra
Member since:
2005-10-05

I agree with several of your points, and your by the numbers analysis is definitely poignant. However, you are incorrectly conflating The Internet with The Desktop. They are separate, and should be treated as such.

On The Desktop, it is possible to provide shallow learning curves while still offering users advanced functionality, even while not allowing users to unknowingly do harmful things.

However, The Internet is a different beast. By its nature, it is dangerous, and to novices, it frankly can be confusing. Sometimes users get tripped up because of random oddities (such as this situation), and sometimes they are purposefully deceived by malevolent people (can you imagine if "readwriteweb.com" was a rogue site farming for Facebook IDs?).

Somebody else here suggested an IQ test to use the internet - of course, this is impractical and nobody here really wants that (big brother and all that). By comparison, there are many dangers in the real world, and it isn't always the government's job to protect us from those (though it often tries and fails): crossing the street without looking, talking to strangers as a child, responding to phone or snail-mail scammers, etc. It is perhaps the duty of parents or friends to educate people around them of these dangers and how to use The Internet properly, safely, and respectfully.

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