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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RE[2]: Magic Box
by HappyGod on Thu 18th Feb 2010 04:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Magic Box"
HappyGod
Member since:
2005-10-19

There is a wide perception from geeks that users are stupid, and that perception deonstrates arrogance.

Unfortunately that doesn't make it wrong. Users are both stupid and lazy, in large and equal measure. Not all of them, but a LOT of them.

I have worked on 2 IT helpdesks, in PC hardware support several times, and am now a developer, and I am here to tell you that almost nobody ever reads dialogues that are presented to them, no matter how alarming the dialogues are made to appear.

We proved that point on several occassions where we asked users (with a pop-up dialogue) to call in if they met some condition, like a particular brand of PC, or some piece of software. We knew we had hundreds of matches, but seldom received more than 20 or so calls.

If you choose to ignore your computer, you should expect the unexpected.

Users also apply totally different reasoning to computer concepts than they do with their real-life counterparts. For example if they received a letter in the post advising that the sender had come across a large amount of money, and to please post back their bank account details (Nigerian scam), they would throw the letter in the bin. But, when they get that in an email ...

Your reasoning regarding the number of 'stupid' users in relation to FacePlant's user base is also flawed for two reasons:

1. If the user doesn't understand the concept of his browser's address bar, he is unlikely to understand how to post on a blog, meaning most of the users in question were unrepresented in the blog count.

2. If this issue received enough attention so as to displace Facebook itself as the number 1 result for the phrase "Facebook Login", then we can assume millions rather than thousands of "stupid" users.

(phew) I feel much better now!

Reply Parent Score: 2