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An entomologist rates ant emojis (curlicuecal.tumblr.com)
384 points by rbanffy 8 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 137 comments



Kinda similar:

Investigating the Potential for Miscommunication Using Emoji https://grouplens.org/blog/investigating-the-potential-for-m...

Paper: http://grouplens.org/site-content/uploads/Emoji_Interpretati...

It's intersting because there is a huge difference between the simple emoji faces accross devices. The grinning face example is really good because the Apple and Twitter version doesn't look happy at all, like a different expression under the same emoji

https://grouplens.org/site-content/uploads/GrinningFaceWSmil...


The grinning face example is out of date now. https://emojipedia.org/grinning-face-with-smiling-eyes/ Apple switched to a happy face in iOS 10, and Twitter switched at some point too. Given the timing, it might've been a direct response to this paper.

Historically, this issue stems from it being an original DoCoMo emoji. https://d2jv9003bew7ag.cloudfront.net/uploads/Original-Emoji...

My understanding is that when Apple was implementing these, read the bottom left graphic here as rectangular by choice. At 12x12, it's pretty ambiguous. Then Unicode got into the mix, called it a 'grinning face', and newer sets went in that direction.


The that DoCoMo emoji is IMO unambiguously happy, being based off of the kaomoji:

    ^_^
While overscores can be used in both happy and sad or angry faces the use of carats in a sad/angry face kaomonji would be very unusual; see e.g. [1]

1: http://kaomoji.ru/en/


I agree that the sentiment probably shifted with Apple's design, but https://emojipedia.org/apple/iphone-os-2.2/smiling-face-with... stems from an emoji precisely matching ^_^.


Oh yeah. I used to send an emoji that looked to me like grinning and my friend told me after months she was really feeling uncomfortable with me snarling all the time.

I wish those emojis carried a very small caption. Also because I can't recognize what half of them are supposed to mean.


Oh, and something hilarious happened back when I had a Windows phone.

I sent "good night" with a bed emoji.

The other party saw a hospital building with a red cross.

And not only they! I saw it, as well!

The picture changed. In the composing field it was one and in the message area another.


> I wish those emojis carried a very small caption.

If you're using Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/emoji-to-engl...


Great for people who have difficulty understanding expressions such as children or people with autism. Frankly I don't understand emojis most of the time. Not in the least because there are so many. Call me nostalgic but where's the time when only a limited amount of smileys were used?


> but where's the time when only a limited amount of smileys were used?

I agree whole-heartedly but then I'm an old fart.


At least they're more decipherable than the more complex emoticons :3c


The "crying with laughter" one is similar, some people only see the tears (they are rendered on relatively small screens after all).


That one has caused so much confusion amongst the older members of my family on Facebook. My aunt to this day still posts “crying with laughter” to posts about celebrities dying or natural disasters. We’ve told her it’s not a sad smiley, but I think she just can’t tell the two apart any more.


Also, the "crying with laughter" face, in practical use, comes across as absurdly over-eager to express inauthentic laughter. Most people just knee-jerk flood you to hell with those things, at the slightest hint of a joke.

I'm tired of seeing that stupid, stupid cartoon face. I wince when I see it. It pains me. It's like getting stabbed in the gut for offering chewing gum to someone. I don't like to tell jokes anymore.

I want to reply:

  Please stop laughing so hard.
  The joke I made was not that funny.
I notice Facebook users have the worst sense of habitual knee-jerk emoji obligation. I think it's because they are restricted to expressing only five emotions.

  1. Thumbs Up (like, but often mere acknowledgement)
  2. Heart     (love, but often off-topic)
  3. Wow       (horrified, shocked or amazed, but which?)
  4. Cry       (sad, but why?)
  5. Mad       (angry, but at who?)
In most cases, this leaves them resorting to an ambiguous "Wow" for most non-thumbs-up reactions, leaving the reader to question if it's a good wow, or a bad wow.

Because they've accepted ambiguity as fact when communicating with individual icons, they also lack a sense of volume. They've been trained to understand that CAPS LOCK is bad, but it will be years before emoji fatigue sets in. For this reason, I've mostly withdrawn from interacting with many people.


I think Twitter has tooltips for them, which is nice because I also can't recognize most of them. If I use them at all, I restrict myself to a smiling face and that's it.


If I see an emoji I don't understand/recognize I copy it and paste it into Google.


I experienced miscommunication with my SO, she was constantly using sleepy emoji as a sad/crying emoji:

https://emojipedia.org/sleepy-face/


Frankly I couldn’t have guessed that was a sleepy emoji if you paid me, or that it’s not a tear....


The snoring snot bubble is popular trope in Japan. It was featured in western cartoons in the days of Popeye and Tom&Jerry. But, it fell out of fashion in the West long ago.


That is definitely a sad, crying face.

How is there no [ ZZZ ] talk balloon floating above, to indicate the obvious snoring?


That's a different emoji.

https://emojipedia.org/sleeping-face/


That's like the semi-sad face :-/

On most devices it renders out to a look of disappointment. But on androids, their little dude looks to have a smug grin, which is never what you want to convey with :-/


That piece and some of the comments here make me wonder if pure text emojis are the better design decision.


You mean, like Emoticons?


@->--;--


Microsofts looks like something pulled out of a slasher movie where the killer is a Joker-type trope.


It instantly made me think of Bendy from Bendy and the Ink Machine [1] for me. Given that it's a horror game, I guess we got similar associations from it.

[1] https://duckduckgo.com/?q=bendy+and+the+ink+machine&iax=imag...


It's been changed in the meantime as well: https://emojipedia.org/microsoft/windows-10-april-2018-updat...


This carries over into the real world as well.

Some people try really hard to show a toothy smile and they end up looking like the Apple or Facebook smiling emoji.


I like Mozilla's the most. It's most human-like and thus, easiest to understand


Really? For me it is, together with Emoji One and Twitter, part of the bottom three. It looks like an embarrassed smile. Twitter's version looks even more forced or mechanical than those from FB or Apple, and Emoji One's eyes give an impression of sadness (probably because the arches of the grinning eyes aren't horizontal).

Imho, on a more 3D blob (2.5D or isometric) Google's version would be best. But as they are, Samsung offers the most convincingly, emotionally happy one, but it does not really fit the 'grinning' theme. So the HTC's example is probably best, especially in the usually small format, though it isn't the most artful one.


It's the least "grinny" one though.



Huh, I could have sworn seeing real, live butterflies with their wings stretched forward. Of course not when it is resting, but perhaps when it is just about to take off? Or when it is defensive/threatened?


I always forget to make note of this when I see a butterfly.

I think what happens is that they tend to hold their wings up, which gives the impression that they are pointing forward even when they are not.

Then again, I'm not an entomologist.

https://www.reddit.com/r/NatureIsFuckingLit/comments/8e0hj3/...

https://www.reddit.com/r/NatureIsFuckingLit/comments/5xj1pn/...


Possibly thermal regulation?

A too-cold butterfly that wants to warm up in the sun would want to increase exposed surface area. A warm-enough butterfly would fold up those wings, as normal. A too-hot butterfly would slowly flap, preferably in the shade.

I still can't internalize how butterflies can actually fly with those wings. It just seems like there would have to be so much twisting, curling, and flapping that they would either just flop around wildly in the air or rip their own wings off. But that's probably because I'm mentally trying to scale it up to Arthur-sized flight. Aerodynamics are a lot different when your whole craft is only a few grams.

With the huge possibility that I'm wrong, I think a butterfly about to take off would want to extend its wingtips as vertical as possible, and lift off with a strong down-stroke, then twist parallel to the air stream and re-extend before twisting back to flap down again.

Defensive is a strong possibility for butterflies with false eye spots on their wings, or zebra-stripe-like, outline-breaking herd camouflage.


Archived copy, which works with JS disabled:

https://archive.is/sViKB


https://farm9.static.flickr.com/8432/28947786492_80056225f3_...

Not you too, Camelia! Liz, what have you done to our mascot!


Perl 6 is not exactly alive, is it.


I'm not sure what you mean with "not exactly alive", but with a monthly compiler release with 30+ different committers (https://github.com/rakudo/rakudo/blob/master/docs/announce/2...) and a weekly blog post (https://p6weekly.wordpress.com), it seems pretty much alive to me.


Yes! After reading this you can't stop seeing dead butterflies everywhere.

At least the one in The Very Hungry Caterpillar is so weirdly shaped that it's just weird, not dead.


Archive mirror for Europeans who do not want Yahoo/Oath/Tumblr cookies: http://web.archive.org/web/20180718095145/http://curlicuecal...


I tried turning all the tracking/ads off but it just kept on redirecting me to their GDPR preferences screen every time I clicked submit.


Intentional dark pattern or honest bug?

I have had this 'bug' on multiple different websites. Forbes in particular is a nice example, they take 5mins to save your preferences and then it says they "are working on it. You can change your preferences." (Not direct quote).


Off topic, but I think this is interesting:

> I don’t know what this is?

I think statements followed by a question mark is a distinctly Tumblr-y convention. It's generally used to express confusion. Kinda like raising one's pitch at the end of a statement to indicate uncertainty.

Pretty cool.


I mean, I sometimes use a question mark to end statements when I text, and I'm not a Tumblr user?


Yeah, I've been doing this since before Tumblr existed.


I think there's even an extra layer of nuance here as well. At the risk of sounding prescriptivist, "I don't know what this is" is a statement, not a question; appending a question mark to it changes its tone, and seems to me at least to give it an implicit, almost sarcastic question; "I don't know what this is. Do you expect me to?". It puts the responsibility for the statement, the responsibility for the confusion, on the presenter of the information, not the receiver. It's less innocent than pure confusion; has a little more sneer to it, or at the very least, a little more snark.


There is a Netflix episode on the usage of “!” as part of their “explained” documentary series. You should definitely watch that one :)


It's called a 'rhetorical question', and that's any question that's asked by the writer/speaker that is not intended to have a response from the reader/listener.


That is not what "rhetorical question" means. I don't want to be the grammar nazi, go read on rhetoric as a speaking form.


"a question asked in order to create a dramatic effect or to make a point rather than to get an answer."

A question not expecting an answer is pretty close to correct particularly in a modern context.


It’s actually just a lame, noncommittal way to say something. People should just use the period and stand by what they say, imo.


It's a linguistic device that adds richness to the language?


okay, that's nice use of the question mark.


It's a way of communicating additional information beyond the words. It expresses a lack of certainty that would otherwise have been clear in real speech through tone of voice and other non-verbal channels.

Perhaps you feel people should never say things they are uncertain about? Or do you mean that people should not express that uncertainty?


Apparently there's a whole subreddit dedicated to these reviews:

https://www.reddit.com/r/EmojiReview/


Of course there is, and it reminds me that deep down I still love reddit.


It’s odd that there’s no mention of the fact that the samsung centaur ant has 5 legs.


It's there, it's just exactly behind the back leg in the foreground.


What surprises me is the lack of an emoji with an unambiguous meaning of "thank you." I use the prayer hands but that seems to be implying something that doesn't quite fit. Raised hands is somewhat like thanks but also like, "that's cool."


> What surprises me is the lack of an emoji with an unambiguous meaning...

Yeah, unfortunately that is hard to express pictorially as there's no universal human gesture or face for it (unlike most facial expressions). I have seen the clapping hands [1] use to say thanks, and alternatively the right-facing fist[2] (as in fist-bump) - but the meaning of the latter can be lost entirely depending on demography of recipient, or interpreted as being aggressive (I'll punch you), and the former might be understood to be applause.

1. HN does not render Emojis - https://emojipedia.org/clapping-hands-sign/

2. https://emojipedia.org/right-facing-fist/ sometimes combined with the left-facing fist to make a fist-bump.


A thumbs up perhaps? Though that might also be conveying more of a "nice job!"


An old-fashioned smiley does the trick.


I'm surprised that they don't mention that most of the ants are missing mandibles.


This is so very much what I come to HN for. Bravo!


A little OT but how emojis work?

Does each device send a code, interpreted by the recipient device/platform with its own library of images, or do devices send pictures, received as is? Or does it depend on the platform? Is there a standard?


It’s kind of both in practice. Emojis are codepoints in the vast character space of Unicode that are defined as “a drawing of an ant” or “a hand pointing up” or whatever. And it is perfectly easy for any modern device to render that codepoint in its own default emoji font.

But. If you visit a website that has its own emoji, such as Twitter or Facebook, then it’ll replace those codepoints with inline images.


So far, this is the only correct reply.

Emoji are represented both as characters and as markup, and there's overlap.

(Markup is the correct approach, IMO, and I really need to finish my blog post on that...)



The standard is Unicode. The ant is U+1F41C. I have mixed feelings about emojis in the Unicode standard. Apparently this is a Unicode character 'PISTOL':

https://emojipedia.org/pistol/


This won’t be a problem much longer: https://blog.emojipedia.org/all-major-vendors-commit-to-gun-...

Sometimes you gotta break a few eggs to make change …


How is this not a problem anymore? The Unicode standard spells out 'PISTOL'. Not 'WATER GUN'. They are just collectively not compliant to the standard. Why don't they just introduce 'WATER GUN' as a brand new code point and remove 'PISTOL' from their chat apps' emoji selection?


Sadly dumbed down to waterpistol instead of what it should be, a "pistol".


Showing a revolver is not a display of extreme intellect, so it cannot really be dumbed down. It also shouldn't be sadly, as it's an emoji.


What do you mean? This symbol was change in its meaning, I find that sad.


It might be a sad decision to make, but nothing was 'dumbed down'.

IMHO the 'correct' solution, if you want to remove the handgun picture is to remove it from the emoji keyboard (and possibly refuse to render it) and introduce a new water pistol emoji.


I'm pretty sure users will just learn to interpret it as a pistol, rather than water gun. Same like how the eggplant emoji means "penis" now.


Besides, a small watergun graphic is just an often futuristic looking gun with neon colors. Hardly something that suddenly is unambiguously not a killing device.


Very interesting, in this case there isn't just a different design or different appearance between devices, but it's actually a different object.


I heard (but I may have misheard / misremembered) they're actually planning to remove that emoji from the standard.

It's an er, interesting position that the emoji standards committee (if that's the term) finds itself in. Do they have the right to determine discourse? There have been small riots (if that's the right term) about skin colors, genders, family composition, jobs, and now about weapons as well. They have the job (which I don't envy) to design an international language that is able to express a lot of concepts and emotions on the one hand, but on the other not to offend if possible.

And then there's the implementers, who have to add an extra layer to it - like the Apple crash bug which was caused by a certain flag emoji being available in one country but not the other.


>They have the job (which I don't envy) to design an international language that is able to express a lot of concepts and emotions on the one hand, but on the other not to offend if possible.

Why is their job to avoid offending anyone? Why a pistol emoji showing a real life pistol is offensive on itself? It's not like I can't offend anyone using only the ASCII character set.


I believe Apple led the way by changing the emoji to one of a water pistol, and other companies (most notably, those that primarily run apps) changed theirs to follow suit.


In this case it was a political change; some OEMs caved and changed the pistol to a water gun and some did not.

Emoji are a vital part of the way we communicate online so some see them as a prime way to push their agenda.


Unnecessary nitpicking, but most that don't show a water pistol or similar, actually show a revolver, not a pistol. There are differences.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pistol


Odd, that pistol article seems to include revolvers. It's almost like you're being needlessly pedantic.


Haha, yeah, so I was, glad to be reminded to read more thoroughly and not be so triggerhappy (pun intended) :)


It's like a font. The webpage specifies "print the capital letter A in times New Roman font size 20". Your browser or app prints the letter as best it can.


Ok, very clear. But fonts have unique names that are relevant to the font itself. Times New Roman is Times New Roman everywhere; if you don't have the font it can be substituted with another font of the "Times" family or maybe just a serif font.

For emojis it seems every big company makes its own thing? instead of using libraries made by professional design shops / foundries like for fonts; that's confusing.


For fonts every big company does its own thing too. San Francisco is an Apple font you won't find outside their ecosystem. Arial, Courier New, Comic Sans, etc are Microsoft fonts (or popularized by being shipped on Windows 3.1). Roboto is a Google font and used by all their products.

It just happens that fonts are mostly handeled by operating systems providers while emoticons are mostly handeled by chat system providers. That has historical reasons since beautifully rendered emoticons were used as a selling point long before emoticons were added to fonts in the West (Japanese code pages did have emojis, so things might have developed different if chat was dominated by Japanese companies instead of American ones). Meanwhile providing custom fonts wasn't feasible for websites for most of the internets existance, so that hasn't caught on yet as something web-based companies like twitter do.


It's not that different from how a lot of international details are handled for fonts. As someone used to latin letters, you have a giant set of foundry-made fonts with cool names, interesting histories, and visible distinctions between families.

If you use a more complicated script such as Chinese/Japanese/Korean ideograms, or more rare script like Cherokee, you not only have fewer choices, maybe a font or three. In those cases those fonts are often more closely tied to the system manufacturer than what in the latin script world we'd think of as a foundry or type designer. Some scripts wish they could afford designers/type-foundries to explore playful variants like or similar to the vast variety we see of latin characters. (I've seen kickstarters/indiegogo campaigns for exactly that.)

Then there are Unicode fallback fonts. A font "Times New Roman" doesn't (and likely couldn't) include _all_ of Unicode. It's a big sea of characters. Not just because it would take a lot of work for every font to cover all of Unicode, but because for most fonts it doesn't even make sense. What's the difference between say "Arial" and "Helvetica" outside of latin/latinate letters? How would you apply that to CJK ideograms or Cherokee letters? So for a lot of Unicode codepoints, the systems all fall back to common system fonts (a dedicated Cherokee font, a rotation of CJK fonts based on all sorts of things like region and some rare hints from the font being falled back from).

It's possible for classic foundry fonts like "Times New Roman" to ship with full emoji sets, and to have outside font choices to shift emojis. The one non-technical question remains: what would that even mean for "Times New Roman" emoji versus "Arial" emoji, "Arial" versus "Helvetica"? It's possible we might figure out a use for something like a "serif" versus "non-serif" emoji and the fallback can send that as a hint of sort like some other scripts have, but never need anywhere near as wide a variety of emoji.

It's also possible systems could provide options of fallback emoji font based on user preference, if there were enough emoji font options. For now it's easiest for the system manufacturers to just bundle one and only one of their choice, such as they do with a script like Cherokee.

There are a few technical obstacles to allowing that. The big technical issue is how systems handle color rendering. Microsoft is currently to my knowledge the only system handling emoji entirely in the font rendering stack, with color data embedded as extensions into otherwise ordinary OpenType font files. [1] (Microsoft's emoji fallback font actually has a traditional foundry-style name, it is "Segoe UI Emoji", and can even be seen in font lists, not that it is that useful on its own as a latin font choice, and Character Map hasn't been updated to render color fonts nor show Unicode emoji ranges.) Many other systems have custom renderers that intercept Unicode emoji and replace with raster bitmaps of one form or another, rather than relying on "true" font fallback techniques.

[1] https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/desktop/DirectWrite...


Very informative, thanks!!!


Yeah, there’s a standard defined by Unicode. See this link. https://unicode.org/emoji/charts/full-emoji-list.html


As others have said, emoji are just unicode. What's interesting is that the some aren't just a single unicode character. For example, where skin tone is available for some emoji (e.g. Santa) it is represented as the generic emoji, plus a separate character representing skin colour. The client has to interpret this to show the intended glyph. Instagram engineering covered this quite nicely [1].

[1] https://instagram-engineering.com/emojineering-part-ii-imple...


Emoji are characters, like 'a', '6', or '!'. But the thing about emoji is that most fonts don't include them, but many platforms (especially mobile platforms) provide a systemwide font that does, often in color. So any given emoji will look the same on the iPhone, irrespective of what font the surrounding text is in.


I don't understand. A whole 6/10 for the WhatsApp ant, which has only three legs? At least Samsung, missing a leg, got a proper 2/10.


But three legs makes sense given you are only seeing one side. If you showed a person from one side it's likely you'd only see one leg. It's the 5 legs and 4 legs that don't make sense.


By the way, on my Linux machine, I see most UTF characters in Firefox, but almost none in Chromium.

Does anybody know why?

For example, in Chromium I only see squares here:

https://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/1f41c/browsert...

But in Firefox I see ants.


Firefox ships with a built-in emoji font for platforms without native support, used to be based on EmojiOne, recently switched to being based on Twemoji.


Nitpick: Those are Unicode characters, not UTF characters. UTF is just a family of encoding schemes for Unicode codepoints.

(Bonus nitpick: Also, those are not characters, they're glyphs. The term "character" is so indefinable that the Unicode standard, to my knowledge, never uses the term.)


http://www.unicode.org/versions/Unicode11.0.0/ has "Changes in the Unicode Character Database" and starts "Unicode 11.0 adds 684 characters, for a total of 137,374 characters." The rest of my comment quotes from the spec, from the section "Characters, Not Glyphs"

> The Unicode Standard draws a distinction between characters and glyphs. Characters are the abstract representations of the smallest components of written language that have semantic value. They represent primarily, but not exclusively, the letters, punctuation, and other signs that constitute natural language text and technical notation. The letters used in natural language text are grouped into scripts—sets of letters that are used together in writing languages. Letters in different scripts, even when they correspond either semantically or graphically, are represented in Unicode by distinct characters. This is true even in those instances where they correspond in semantics, pronunciation, or appearance.

> Characters are represented by code points that reside only in a memory representation, as strings in memory, on disk, or in data transmission. The Unicode Standard deals only with character codes.

> Glyphs represent the shapes that characters can have when they are rendered or displayed. In contrast to characters, glyphs appear on the screen or paper as particular representations of one or more characters. A repertoire of glyphs makes up a font. Glyph shape and methods of identifying and selecting glyphs are the responsibility of individual font vendors and of appropriate standards and are not part of the Unicode Standard.

> Various relationships may exist between char acter and glyph: a single glyph may correspond to a single character or to a number of characters, or multiple glyphs may result from a single character.


>You need a font that supports this character to even have a hope of seeing it correctly in the browser.

You've either set the wrong font, or the default one is not installed or linked properly, while on Firefox you've set a custom font.


I never have set anything.


Then maybe Firefox is relying on a built-in font as noted by another user, while the right system fonts are missing.


Why does every ant get docked for being a "centaur" with 2 thoraces, and yet HTC goes unpunished?


The centaur idea refers to the ant's front legs not resting on the ground, not to the double thorax. I found that jarring too, but the ratings are based on appeal and HTC is apparently being rated as elegant abstract art. Compare LG's rating of "This ant is wrong in every way, and yet I can't stay mad at her. 7/10"

Looking more closely, the most disturbing thing I see in these is the Google ant, which has somehow placed its left front leg over its left middle leg. It feels like a layer mixup; that position is completely impossible in normal motion.


Google had an issue with the beer emoji being physically impossible as well - a frothy overflowing head on a half full beer.

https://www.theverge.com/2017/12/5/16737066/google-burger-be...

I agree with the author on the LG ant - it looks wrong but still cute.


That's Tumblr for you in a nutshell. Everything is an emotional opinion


Apple attention to detail and build quality wins again.


Facebook also deserves credit, though I'm not sure why Messenger has a different set of emoji.


Cross-platform consistency.


Mozilla wins too, simply by using a termite :D


-11/10


Was it commissioned by Facebook :D?


Facebook's ant is really good tbh


Relevant XKCD: https://xkcd.com/1012/


I'm stuck in a "please accept our gazillion cookies" loop. After managing preferences (which is implemented illegally, as I understand, since opt-out should be as easy as opt-in) and saving, I just get shown the same page again.

Too bad, sounded like a fun article.


As an extra insult, the page shown then has the preferences (which you have to get to through several smokescreens, where only one path is correct) reverted back to the original "enabled". Like showing you a contract with fine print, then after you carefully read and crossed out stuff in the fine print, they tear it down and pull out another copy of the original one. Their communication thus being: "fuck your choice, we think exactly nothing of it, are we clear enough?"

I really hope some group of lawyers will start smashing the corporations with GDPR lawsuits with no remorse. I intensely hope there's money to be made out of this.


I'm currently making a list of bad implementations of GDPR, as far as I've observed I'd say that roughly 80% (low estimate) of cookie management systems are dark patterns, and that most of them are downright illegal.

Maybe I should write an article on that, it's a perfect case study.


A lot sites moved on to merge their privacy policies with their cookie policies, and they disallow access if you don't accept all of their tracking methods. How do you judge those examples? I'm not referring to those hiding the options to opt-out deep within their policies, sometimes even with text links, but those with absolute consent, i.e., either accept or move on.


My wording was indeed inappropriate (I'm not a native speaker), "dark patterns" are subjective but I'd say:

  - the less privacy-friendly option is a big shiny button, while privacy controls are behind a small greyed link
  - hiding the privacy options behind many interactions, basically making it as frustrating as possible to find the opt-out, I always find that amusing to read "We value your privacy" while I spend so much time looking for actual control over my privacy
  - all of the "partners" checked by default (non GDPR compliant), with no easy way to deselect all ("select all" is, however, usually an option)
  - bait and switch: when you go to partners' settings, checking the checkbox is actually requesting to opt-out, but to know that you need to read a long, grey paragraph with a small font size at the very end of the list
  - punishing the user by making it unnecessarily slow to opt-out, most of them are legitimate from my finding, but I've noticed a few fake loadings (zero requests in the network tab), it may simply be due to poor engineering though (Hanlon's razor)
  - redirecting the user from the original content after he opted-out, also feels like an intended punishment to me (but same as before: can be explained by poor engineering)
The list is non-exhaustive, but I wish I had better writing abilities to share my observations in a Medium article or something like that.


(Meta: please don’t use code formatting for lists; just use a paragraph for each list item, that way it’s readable. You can even use U+2022 BULLET • as the marker instead of - if the fancy takes you!)


Thanks a lot, I was wondering how to format it!


I think the most egregious one I've seen was "To opt-out of tracking cookies, click here to learn how to turn off cookies in your browser".


I absolutely hate how tumblr implemented their cookie policy. Doesn't GDPR forces vendors to have an easy opt-out from all button ?

In any case, i took the trouble from opt-ing out and archiving the page : https://archive.is/2hADS


No, GDPR forces vendors to have opt-out by default, with whatever opt-in they please. I stopped visiting tumblr because of that.


I wonder if it would be possible to create a uBlock Origin like thing that automatically opt you out of everything on a website instead of having to go three menus down just do click them.


Just install Cookie AutoDelete (or equivalent extension) in your browser. You'll be able to click 'Accept' in cookie notices with abandon safe in the knowledge that it doesn't matter what the site says or does, you're in control.

(Also disable 3rd party cookies in your browser settings while you're at it)


Non-compliance issues aside, here's why I'm not convinced that blindly agreeing is a good policy:

Imagine that, by clicking "I accept", I agree to get my browser's fingerprint stored in their servers to identify me. For the sake of GDPR compliance, I can go back to their site at any time, revoke this consent, and they would actually forget me (crazy, I know).

The problem is: since I have already agreed to the tracking, I won't see the "Accept" button anymore. Sure, I can go there and revoke my consent, but why would I? I don't even remember going there the first time.

Agreeing to something I don't _really_ agree to is a bad idea overall. A better alternative, I think, is to start accessing cached versions of websites.


Also, accepting to tracking is accepting to tracking.

Cookies are but one method of tracking, so even if cookies are deleted the site may still successfully and thus lawfully track you through other means.


Sites have to work without.


Yes, awful experience but the article is indeed great fun and very well done


"Hork-bajir", now that is a deep cut reference.


With that reference, I knew (within a range of +/- a couple years) the age of the author.


In a more extreme form, someone once compared Peppa Pig with real health services. I'm somewhat painfully reminded of the ̶w̶a̶s̶t̶e̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶i̶m̶e̶ scientific value that is this kind of content.


Does Peppa Pig encourage misuse of primary care resources?

https://www.bmj.com/content/359/bmj.j5397


https://sci-hub.tw/https://www.bmj.com/content/359/bmj.j5397

"Dr Brown Bear displays signs of 'burnout.' His disregard for confidentiality, parental consent, record keeping, and his self prescribing indicate that the burden of demand from his patient population is affecting his health. He is no longer able to offer the level of service his patients have come to expect."

Incredible article.


Do you mean Doctor McStuffins?




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