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"Wow, fuck you. I just wanted to look at cats."

"Well, fuck you, too. We're here to sell ads."

It's not about dark patterns, that's just a second-order effect. It was never about dark patterns.

This is the implied agreement. You understand it, or you don't. And if you don't, I guess you haven't been on the web in the past decade or something.

What? You thought it was fair that a company spends millions in technical infrastructure and staffing so you can sit at home and spend your time looking at cats for free? No, they have your attention and they're going to connect you to organizations who will pay for it.




So how does this explain why Windows 10, which I have paid like $150 for per license, is now infested with ads, tracking and online presence - and close to impossible to buy without that. They aren't even trying to put a $ figure on what they think it's worth - because they can't be stopped from doing it.

There is no implied agreement, it's exactly as stated.


What I don't undestand, even Win 10 Pro has XBox and candys all over the place .. serious in a pro version?!? With the terrible EULA it all felt just like a joke to me and I deleted all my Windows installations and I'm Linux only now at home. I'm not using Linux because it is free. I have 4 unused Win10 Pro licenses at home now. But I just can't say yes to the EULA. So I dumped them all. In the late 90s I also bought Linux distros, because I was not able to donwload those over a 33.4kb modem. So it is not because it free or it cost something. It is about freedom.


The XBox game bar is useful for work actually - it is easy to make videos of bugs or how to use app with it.


I can do the same thing on linux and macos without the app being an ad.


I like using Nvidia Shadowplay to do any video recording on my screen.


Is there anything specific in EULA that stands out or overall it's bad for their users?


> I have 4 unused Win10 Pro licenses at home now.

Why don't you sell them?


Windows license forbids to resell them (or was, last time I checked). Fortunately due to the local law I can ignore this paragraph but not everyone can.


Because it's not about the money. And who knows I might wanna use one on a VM in future. The last new notebook I made flat without even save the installed Windows first.


Get Win LTSB. That's the most sane version.


You have to almost cheat to get an LTSB license as private person. This would be an option, if I could buy a such license official.


I guess someone could argue that it only costs $150 because of the ads. Windows 95 cost well over twice that when it was launched (inflation adjusted). Maybe in the same way that airfares are way cheaper than they were in the 90s, but with much crappier included service.


Ok, so why isn't there an option to just buy the thing at its actual cost without the subsidy and without ads? Are they unable to put a $ value on how much the ads will garner them over, say, a 3-year period?

FWIW, I have Linux Mint on all laptops at home, including the ones used by the kids and the elderly, even though I've already paid for the Windows 10 license by virtue of having purchased them default installed.


> Ok, so why isn't there an option to just buy the thing at its actual cost without the subsidy and without ads? Are they unable to put a $ value on how much the ads will garner them over, say, a 3-year period?

That's the classical problem with ad-free subscription models: You remove all the people with cash to spare from your advertising pool, thus decreasing its value. At that point you might as well make the product ad-free for the people not paying as well.


Certainly the costs in the 90s were tied directly to physical distribution and comparatively lesser market demand. Whereas nowadays digital distribution is king and market demand is ubiquitous. I'd consider those factors to be responsible for driving prices down before I'd give a multinational corporation credit for allowing me to use their product (that I paid for) in return for pervasive advertising.


Windows 95 had a suggested retail price of $209.95

https://archive.seattletimes.com/archive/?date=19950607&slug...

This magazine from 1995 had a CD full of stock images for sale for $18.98

https://the-avocado.org/2018/03/16/lets-read-pc-magazine-jul...

So I don't think the physical distribution was a large percent of the price.


Maybe I attribute too much value to the costs of physical distribution. Either way, my point is that I don't think in-app advertising is the sole driver of the price point we see for Windows today compared to the price point we saw in the 90s.

I find it hard to accept the explanation that in-app advertising is the tradeoff I get when buying a tech product at a given price. Either it's free and it serves me ads, or I pay for it and I get to opt-in to ads if I choose.

It's the same argument for Smart TVs. These companies know they can have their cake and eat it too.


> This magazine from 1995 had a CD full of stock images for sale for $18.98

..."for 100 stunning photos on each CD-ROM. $18.98 each" [1], just in case anyone else wanted to square the comparison in proper context.

[1] https://i0.wp.com/the-avocado.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03...


A music CD has very similar physical distribution costs, and those often sold for less than 20$ if memory serves.


They're = being leaches. Sure Windows 95 is expensive, but so were PCs. If you look at inflation adjusted OS prices, you'll see significant declines that reflect a lot of competition:

- Windows 95 was $210 in 1995: $370.94 in today's dollars.

- Windows XP was $199 in 2002: $297.78 in today's dollars.

- Windows 7 was $159.99 in 2009: $200.75 in today's dollars.


pretty sure I gave like $50 for a license for win95


Let’s be honest though. Windows is supported through OEM licenses. M$ (yeah, I’m dusting this off here, due to the context) isn’t strapped for cash.


scrapped -> strapped


¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I’m on mobile. Whatever


How many more copies of windows 10 were sold compared to Windows 95?


How many more engineers work on Windows 10 compared to Windows 95?


I don't think that many. Afaik they closed some teams and replaced them with some automated Tests and stuff. So it's not unthinkable that there were eben less engineers on win10 than on winXP.


Windows 11 is more invasive than 10. Why? Because all the anti-privacy bullshit on Windows 10 worked and nobody complained...

We can call this situation the "Fuck yourself" pattern, where you give money to companies so they can innovate in new ways of fucking you.


They pay for it but they aren't able to connect the dots. Have you looked at the developer community of MS frameworks lately? Seems like a ghost town. Of course this is not the only reason, but for quite a few developers it is. I dropped .net completely because it isn't worth developing against a badly behaving OS. I am very sure the ad income doesn't recoup the loss in trust at all.


Or my $1600 LG OLED which takes screen captures by default and sends them to ad tracking cloud servers.


I'd be sandboxing that shit real quick.


Get one from EU (or with EU firmware) and it does not by default. Good side effect of GDPR.


That's the real fuck you pattern right there. When they make you pay for it handsomely, build a moat with questionable practices so third parties have a hard time, make it part of the cultural context so that people expect it to be the "normal" or "baseline" system, and then there's still ads.


While I don't like Windows 10 telemetry and other shady diagnostics services that lurk in the background, I've never seen any ads "infesting" the OS at all, and I'm online almost all day. Which part of Windows displays ads?


I use windows on my gaming PC, don't really have a problem with ads to be honest.


The company you purchased from decided to do it that way. If you don’t agree just don’t buy into it, or create a competitor. Did the license you bought said it would have no ads?


What part of windows is infested with ads?


Most of those are manageable or can be disabled, but it can become annoying:

- Start Menu showing suggested apps (the infamous Candy Crush)

- Task bar shown weather and news

- Lock screen sometimes showing ads

- Sometimes, with updates, new things are installed that auto-launch and prompt you to, e.g., buy an Office subscription.


Don't forget:

- Constantly nagging about using browsers other than Edge


Facebook and/or Microsoft can choose to charge you for their content as well as serve you ads. Serving you ads doesn't exclude you from paying for content if that's that's what they choose to do. I believe there's versions of Kindle and other such devices that are cheaper because they have ads. Windows would be more expensive if they didn't serve ads.


The single killer feature of windows, unrivaled by Mac or Linux, is playing video-games.

Expensive professional software is often available on Mac.

Probably the target market for windows evolved to become people who tolerate advertising (or at least that's what PMs at M$ think).

Half the price is paid in the license fee. The other half is a lifetime of ads exposure.


The killer feature of Ryan Air is that it costs £10 to get to a stag party in Malaga, for people who are too blitzed to care about comfort, basic customer service, getting hijacked by foreign governments, etc. The difference is, there are still professional-grade alternatives to Ryan Air, and the company you work for isn't going to make you fly them for business every day. (If they do, you should really quit).


Blaming Ryanair for getting hijacked? That is harsh. Personally, besides the dark patterns during booking, I find little functional difference between Ryanair and the likes of Aer lingus when traveling .

The difference being air travel is highly regulated, as should be surveillance marketing.


Ryan Air makes their seats out of recycled portapotties. The owner repeatedly lobbied for standing room in the back, coin slots on the toilets, and to remove the requirement for seatbelts since "if it goes down, they're all dead anyway." The one time I flew Aer Lingus (in coach, NYC to Dublin via Shannon) I had a fantastic breakfast that still ranks as one of my favorite airplane meals. Sure it cost hundreds of dollars more but once you're in the hands of an airline unfit to transport animals, you wish you'd spent the money.


I am no cheerleader for Ryanair... But most of your arguments don't really hold.

1. What's wrong with recycled seats? If you live in a city you are drinking recycled water.

2. Comparing a trans-atlantic flight to a short-haul one (which all Ryanair flights are) is not correct. Short-haul Aer Lingus is not discernably different to Ryanair.

3. Michael O'Leary is the king of free publicity. The fact that you heard about his "coin operated toilet" plan says it all. No-one ever seriously entertained standing room on airplanes etc...

And none of this has any bearing on the recent hijacking. I've flown many times with Ryanair and otherairlines, with small kids in tow, and there is little difference, because most of the hassle is down to security theatre at the airports.


1. The problem with recycled seats is that they're incredibly, intentionally uncomfortable. If the airline spent a little money to upholster them to the level of say an intercity bus, it would be grand.

2. I've never been on a short Aer Lingus flight so can't comment. But I've been on lots of short Iberia and Air France flights and never dealt with the discomfort of Ryan.

3. Same reason I don't buy a Tesla.

4. I'd hope a pilot of the Irish flag carrier would have phoned in to ask whether diverting several hundred miles to Minsk was the wisest idea. Glassdoor shows the average Ryan Air pilot making €66k/year versus €91k for an Aer Lingus pilot. And no doubt the hours and schedules are hideous. If you choose to entrust your family members' lives to a company that requires defense with all the above caveats to save a few quid - I hope you're spending it on a decent hotel.


> remove the requirement for seatbelts since "if it goes down, they're all dead anyway."

I mean, he's got a point here. Surely if we actually wanted plane passengers to survive crashes they'd have something more substantial than lap belts? I'd have thought, as a simple laymen, facing the seats backwards would make any impact far more survivable than crouching in the insane way that the "safety pamphlet" suggests?


Consider that people survive in some crashes where the plane structure fails. There are no crashes where the plane looks fine, but people inside are dead. This means lap belts + bracing is actually a good approach. A more involved restrain means no bracing, which means more forces on the neck. It also means it's harder to get free, and quick evacuation is one of the main factors that save lives during an accident.


> A more involved restrain means no bracing, which means more forces on the neck.

Did you miss the GPs bit about facing the seats backwards? Then the whole backrest becomes your restraint. (I mean, most airplane crashes are forwards, right -- they don't get rear-ended all that often?)


I mean, no one's said he was technically wrong about the crash situation. Although lap belts do occasionally stop people from fracturing their skulls on the ceiling of the plane or flying into the passenger beside them.

https://www.nbcnews.com/business/travel/ryanair-ceo-seat-bel...

I just want my corporate overlords to at least pretend not to have a wanton disregard for human life. Is that so much to ask?

[edit] on the other hand, the best thing for the Spanish about having a standing section on Ryan Air flights would be the passengers would get their brawling out of the way before they make it to the pub.


Airliner seatbelts primarily exist to restrain passengers during turbulence.


This is the correct answer. Lap belts are there because under unexpected conditions planes can and have[1] suddenly hit turbulence pockets where they plummet 10 or so meters in an instant. The effect is anyone unbuckled gets slammed into the ceiling.

It's why if you're seated, it's recommended to be buckled in - the difference between one person slamming into the ceiling and 300 is pretty substantial.

[1] https://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=7391144&page=1


To be fair, Windows 10 has been surprisingly satisfying in ways that I never imagined. Sure, Explorer still lacks tabs and a real bash is nonexistant, but macOS has gone downhill in other aspects anyway. I have an early 2015 MBP and I loved it. In fact, I loved it so much that every time it threw a problem at me I tried to find a workaround and fix it, even though I could easily switch to my Windows laptop. But the sheer number of problems that required weird workarounds ruined macOS for me. From simple problems like Bluetooth interfering with Wi-Fi and causing mouse cursor lags, to the OS not being capable of driving my 2k external monitor as fast as my Windows machine. At one point, I just said enough is enough, and switched back to Windows after 5 years. None of those problems exist on my Windows machine, and if anything, I've come to appreciate the effort MS put into creating a rock solid OS that just works and is not limited to any specific HW.


I read stuff like this but I've had zero problems with MacOS since I bought a mac pro a few back. Am I doing something wrong? How did you hit all these issues? I'm primarily a linux user but it's not like I'm hitting any problem with MacOS on my laptop or my "new" M1 mini.


I would pay twice as much upfront but that's not an option. So instead I pirate Windows 10 Enterprise which is an absolute dream OS for a prosumer.

I'd buy it but I haven't been able to figure out how to.


That's exactly what you do. Find a guide on buying LTSC through a Microsoft partner. It's expensive but you can effectively install it many times.

https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/2167558-explicit-inst...


This is honestly wonderful news. $300 is entirely reasonable for a "clean", full-featured windows OS!

I'm on version 21H1 -- is this offered with the 2019 LTSC license? Or stuck with version 1909? I'm not sure that really matters for me personally - but sometimes it's confusing how this all works compared to the consumer editions. By confusing I just really just mean they don't seem offer this information upfront.


You'll have to reinstall anyway, since you can't "uninstall" the Store and stuff, it needs to not be there to begin with. LTSC ISOs are downloadable from MS. Its very similar to Server 2019.


Wait, you can actually do this legitimately??!?!?!

TIL how I'm going to be buying Windows from now on. I had no idea this was actually this accessible.

Pirating can sometimes be the simplest technical solution to some situations, but at the end of the day being able to point at a (set of) legitimately-acquired license key(s) is a bit like having a PhD, it squares everything off in a way that opens doors (or keeps doors open) that would otherwise be shut.


What advertising is there?


Googling "ads in windows 10" shows lots of examples.

https://www.google.com/search?q=ads+in+windows+10&tbm=isch

Does that answer your question?


Also googling how to remove ads in Windows 10 shows a bunch of solutions.

From your link, it seems most ads are on live tiles. It's really easy to turn that feature off. (No one likes live tiles anyway)


Why do I see no ads in windows 10? Have you tried using WPD?


> You thought it was fair that a company spends millions in technical infrastructure and staffing so you can sit at home and spend your time looking at cats for free? No, they have your attention and they're going to connect you to organizations who will pay for it.

"The infrastructure" to share cat pictures cost peanuts. It's the addictive dark patterns and montezation/tracking that costs millions. That's the irony.


Go an and run a site that serves massive amounts of cat pictures for peanuts!

Well, yes, serving static HTML is easy. Serving images is kind of not hard either, because you have free unlimited traffic, don't you? Some hosting plans offer it. They just limit the egress bandwidth. So maybe you need a few more servers to cope with it, just like $50 a pop. You're not gonna need any CDN, people further away from your DC will just wait longer. Or run your servers from two regions, it just takes duplicating your collection of cat pictures, should be peanuts.

Then, you need to store these terabytes of cats. On rather fast disks because else the disks will be the bottleneck, and cats will load very slowly for some users. It would be terrible were something to happen to the collection, so you need some backup for peanuts, like some Backblaze, and maybe a second copy because Backblaze has no^W limited redundancy.

Then, well, you need to monitor all that and sometimes fix issues, because cloud infra is highly available but not highly reliable.

Then, where do the cat pictures come from? Allow anonymous uploads! Or register users and allow uploads.

Now analyze each picture so that it's an actual cat picture and not child porn or a warez archive. Resize them to match your standards. Yes, this is simple, just run a RNN that detects cats.

Then, curate the incoming pictures so that they are actually reasonably interesting. Just maybe hire a few people to do that for peanuts somewhere in Africa.

Ah yes, you want to also deduplicate images; run some image hashing algorithms; use maybe just one or two GPU instances to do that efficiently. And you gonna need a DB, a simple one, that will never need any administering or fixing, won't it?

Well, yes, now you can run that site for just several grand a month, making it your day job, because you're well-qualified to maintain every part of it. Enjoy the peanuts.


Hi. I run imgflip.com, a fine purveyor of cat pictures, among others. It serves ~100TB of bandwidth and hundreds of millions of image views per month with total infrastructure cost below 5k per month. I believe Imgflip completely avoids dark patterns because I abhor them and strive to provide positive value to humanity, although I would love for you to share your opinions to the contrary. Imgflip is also 80% profit. It employs several of the techniques you mention, but efficiently, rather than bloated and inefficient like many companies. Curious to hear your take


So I turned off adblock, but I see no ads, even though you have some ad domains. Is imgflip pro the way you make money only? I tried again and all I saw is one banner ad, sometimes. Do you have more ads more frequently, or is it just a relatively minimal amount in general? What is the revenue split between pro & ads? For linus for example, it's about %26 youtube ads, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zt57TWkTF4

How do you deal with moderation? Is it automated, I see you even have comments? Or is it just report buttons and your takedown form? How is the support load?

What is your tech stack? PHP? Python? C#? Java? Golang?


What’s the business-model for image-hosting like thesedays?

Years ago everyone had to use an image-host (Photobucket, lol…) because all those phpBB instances on shared hosting accounts didn’t support direct image uploads or greatly limited attachments and most people didn’t have their own web hosting account to use instead.

With the rise of Web 2.0, it became important for sites to control their content - I remember the days of hotlinked images being swapped-out with obscene or vomit-inducing content as an act of revenge on bandwidth leeches - and cheap storage meant it wasn’t a problem to host hundreds of gigabytes of content by oneself. Can you image if Facebook and Instagram didn’t host the images posted to them?

It’s 2021 now, web-forums are dead - if people want to share photos to a small circle they’ll likely use Dropbox or OneDrive - or just copy+paste between Signal, Telegram and WhatsApp…

Do guide question: who uses your service and where’s the opportunity for profit? Serving images directly means people can’t see any ads, and browsers now block more and more third-party cookies (until all of them by 2023, I understand) so using image-hosting as a way to track users across the web is gone - is your frontpage traffic enough? Savvy users who use image hosts also tend to the ones to adblock too, even on mobile.


Thank you for the reality check!

So, well, my estimate of a few grand a month was not completely off.


It would be really interesting reading an article on what you do different on what each part costs. Effectively how image hosting services work nowadays or if nothing changed in the past 15 years.


That's an amusing reductio ad absurdum, but most people don't have that much of an objection to ad-supported media in principle, it is a time-honored business model.

But being an asshole about insisting that everyone log in so you can target them individually isn't actually a requirement for the business model to work and be profitable.

At most, you can justify being an asshole about insisting that the user not be using an ad-blocker (with the user having the option of logging in with a paid account for an ad-free experience).


This sounds like a great case for a decentralized web infrastructure like Mastodon uses. Each cat server can be exactly as reliable as the owner feels like making it, and each user can choose a cat server based on their needs, and the whole thing is federated because it's based on open source and open standards.

p2p cats for teh win


mastodon also downloads remote media from all known accounts with no real way to manage it, making it a nightmare to administer disk usage for any decent sized instance. they go the route of your instance being responsible for all remote media, not the other way around

https://github.com/tootsuite/mastodon/issues/9567


Each server could have an address that you type into a browser. We could have a 'domain name server' that keeps a list of which address should match to which server.

Then people could easily navigate to cat pictures.


> Backblaze has no redundancy.

That does not seem to be the case.

https://help.backblaze.com/hc/en-us/articles/217667468-B2-Se...


Indeed. They have redundancy within a DC, like you would expect from a NAS or SAN.

They don't have the cross-DC redundancy like S3 does. If a DC goes offline, so does your data.

I'm updating my comment.


How often do entire DCs suffer catastrophic loss? Not just an hour or two of connectivity outage, but “meteor-strike”-type scenarios - or more likely: a fire that takes out an entire rack or row of racks? How often does it happen in developed countries (where fire fighting infrastructure is in-place and building fire-codes are enforced) vs worldwide average? Has it ever happened to a brand-name cloud provider (AWS, Azure, GCP)? How does it compare to self-managed co-lo?


OVH suffered a fatal DC loss quite recently [0]. It's not an everyday event, but it's not something that never happens, either. Also, don't overestimate our fire fighting capabilities: Once a fire breaks out, severe damage to the DC is very likely - if the fire doesn't kill the server, water, temperature or shock will easily do so. Especially if we're on a scale as small as a rack.

Don't put data you don't want to loose in a single location.

[0] https://www.ovh.com/world/news/press/cpl1787.fire-our-strasb...


A power or connectivity loss may happen. A DC does not need to be destroyed or something, just a backhoe acting up somewhere.


You’re overblowing an imageboard checklist into a pack of elephants. I wonder how much I’d earn if I disaggregated every “make us another site quick” in my company in such a way. Well, writing html is easy. But then webpack… and then you want editable content… postgres/orm… and browser coverage, .babelrc… and of course we don’t serve it from our office, now it’s vps management and deployment configuration… and version control, do you know how hard is to remember all git essentials? We have to register a plan on gitlab and enter a card into it!

Smells like seven figures already.


> Go an and run a site that serves massive amounts of cat pictures for peanuts!

Well, I was responding to "millions", so maybe "a handful of peanuts" might be more accurate...

I belive there was an open company/OCI post by neocities.org a good while back, detailing their budget - but I can't seem to find it again.


Looks like Kyle dropped out of the open company initiative at some point, or let that one blog post drop off the site?

http://web.archive.org/web/20160310015118/https://blog.neoci...

> Our (rough) budget for 2015

(...)

> We have upgraded a lot of our infrastructure to provide for faster, more reliable service with more features, space, and bandwidth capabilities, which has pushed our operating bill to around $300/month (...) To prevent unexpected costs, we have made agreements with our providers to make this a fixed rate, so a sudden flood of traffic shouldn't change this dramatically.

(...)

> In order to become self sustaining with the current system, we will require approximately $3600 in annual recurring revenue. I think this is an achievable goal with our new site (we're almost 1/3 of the way there), and we have plenty of runway incase this takes longer than expected. We also have the ability to scale back on some of our expenses, as I believe I can shave off at least $100-150 from our monthly recurring expenses should we need to without too many problems.

> (...) We can scale a lot (~500k+ sites) with what we have now, and the scaling options we have are simple, predictable and affordable.


We just need a standardized cat and picture thereof - perhaps even expand the standard to cover one of each breed.

Then you can have a local copy and be sure you have every standard cat in existence!


No, we just need to train a neural network to generate cat pictures from a small set of inputs (like a uint8 for pose, a uint8 for breed, etc.) and then just transmit those parameters instead of the entire picture.


This guy infrastructures.


Sounds like overkill, mate. I’ll go with your comments parent. Maybe 5 peanuts. In all seriousness, I’ll agree on cdn at 20 a month plus 3 @ 15 dollar nodes running out app and db, let’s go multimaster with a local db node on each app server, screw the c go for a and p, and yeah a single haproxy hardware thread, ha, so make that 2 single core nodes 1gb will do fine for 300k connections per second, um you mentioned staff? For what exactly?

Anyway, you can do anything the hard way, but what’s your point? That serving millions of cats per second requires big investment that must be recouped? I see most of this as rent seeking, and the infrastructure is economy of scale. Maybe you use tensor flow and Kafka inside Kubernetes, I dunno…

I agree that one can expect lame websites to act lame, but it’s out of sheer churlishness rather than necessity


Indeed, serving is the easy part, once it's set up. Going offline when the DC goes offline can be completely acceptable.

It's the picture intake pipeline that eats most of the resources. If you only want to serve the same collection, or a collection you personally increase by 1-2 cats a day, then it's fine.


> It's the picture intake pipeline that eats most of the resources.

How so? Let's say you want to be somewhat competitive with imgur and handle a million images per day, and also that the peak rate is 4x your average. That comes out to 50 images per second. A thumbnail or few shouldn't really take more than a CPU-second, so you can handle that with 2-6 cheap servers. Let alone using spare cores on storage-optimized servers. And it's next to zero database load.


You think that Facebook and Google build these huge warehouse-size data centers all over the world for fun?

You think they wouldn’t rather have the cash?


You do realize that their data includes half of humanities personal lives, if you count WhatsApp and tinder. It ain’t all cat pictures, I’m afraid


You make a great point that I hadn't considered before.

It's like rocket fuel! The faster you want to go, the more fuel you need. Which adds weight, so now you go slower, so you need more fuel...

I want to serve a cat picture, which would cost 1/100 of a cent. But at scale, it adds up. So now I show adds that generate 1.2/100 of a cent in revenue but add .5/100 cents in serving cost, which I can optimize with user data to add an additional .7/100 cents in revenue, but which adds .4/100 cents in serving costs....


Shouldnt you include engineers compensation in "The infrastructure" thats where a lot of money goes.


A bloated payroll to support a bloated advertising platform with a bloated AI-based recommendation algorithm when all it should be doing is loading a descending-order list of most recent submissions meeting the category criteria....

Don't talk about costs, this crap is self-inflicted


The hosting and bandwidth costs of images and especially video is non-trivial. I agree that the vast majority of the costs of these overly-large companies comes from what happens while trying to make them profitable, and then all of the engineering work that goes into that... but that all starts because running the site in the first place wasn't free and you have to do something to make them at least sustainable, with your "obvious" options being to either: 1) ask for donations (which likely won't pay for the site if you get popular: I know this from experience); 2) require people to pay some small subscription fee (which will make the site less fun for everyone); 3) pray ubiquitous micropayments eventually happens (i work on this problem as part of Orchid, but it still hasn't happened ;P); 4) sell "something else" to whales, like t-shirts or the ability to "guild" messages (the strategies reddit was trying to do as they resisted ads for a long time... maybe these work well enough?); or 5) start trying to sell ads and become the thing you hate. The only other strategies I have seen tend to either drag you towards #5 or simply cause other dark patterns, such as taking a cut of "tips" (what TikTok and Twitch do), which at bare minimum incentivizes the "don't you dare talk about alternative payment systems in our ecosystem: all payments must go through us" model sin (which can be fought against if you have a lot of willpower and remain private--I never required this with Cydia as I considered it the original sin my entire market existed to undermine--but I see the motivation and it feels kind of inevitable). I personally bet the only real "correct" solution is essentially #3... if we ever get to the point where the fees for that are as easy to pay and as low as the fees you pay for electricity (which works on a similar model).


How about running ads but not letting them dominate your product? I see nothing wrong with running a costs-plus business model but VC comes in and demand all these stupid companies dominate the world so they can get their 500x return or whatever. Then they go public and now the only thing that matters is shareholder value, fuck the users and OG supporters...

Every one of these companies start with a nice mission and it ends up getting perverted into the hellscape that is tech today. Every damn time.


Its really really hard for a company whose ultimate goal is profit, to give up opportunities to do so. Its just not gonna happen. You can have all the ethical people you want, but people change and it takes just one "smart" engineer/product manager to realize how much money is on the table, then use that to grab power and get the same changes everywhere.

Relying on people doing the right thing is an unstable equilibrium. IMO the only way to really ensure this is with regulations and compliance controls. Laws like GDPR and CCPA have to be followed by the business.


I don't think it's hard per-se. I think it's hard if you have investors.

I know plenty of founders who would be happy with lower constant profits, less employees, in order to have a company which doesn't actively psychologically harm its users, a less stressful working environment.

Gumroad is the perfect example of this.

The problems come from VC money, which force a company to chase 500x returns or die trying. More in general, whenever there is centralisation of resources, problems ensue at some point later on.

Regulations are not the answer - established companies find a way to arginate them (look at Google playing with cookies), smaller companies trying to go live and compete have a slower time to market and die, benefiting the established companies.

On top of this regulations introduce a different set of problems. What if I'm okay being on a website which doesn't respect my privacy? What if I care more about reading a news article and never visit that website again more than I care about them respecting some rules regarding what kind of tracking they do?

Instead of assuming we, the lawmakers, are omniscient and perfect, I think we should just get out of the way of the market and limit governmental influence to reduce the number of monopolies and corruption that gets into the real world - and then bubbles up in various ways, chasing infinte growth being one of them.

To 100 more Gumroads.


> Relying on people doing the right thing is an unstable equilibrium. IMO the only way to really ensure this is with regulations and compliance controls.

Isn’t this ironic? The government is people. I guess this just moves the onus of people doing the right thing, up to government. If you’re right, that destabilizes government. Which I guess is what happens when it stops corps; corps then need to take it over.


I get that, but there is something very wrong with business culture if that is the only outcome guaranteed. There are lots of examples of successful companies whose business model is not based around the unrestrained pursuit of pure profit at the expense of customers... look at Nintendo, for example, or Disney.


Shhh! Some people are trying to justify their jobs as a service to mankind.


> "The infrastructure" to share cat pictures cost peanuts

lol at this. Go setup that infrastructure and see how far you get for peanuts.


A single server can host an awful lot of cat pictures. Especially if you apply a little compression.

In fact: I'm sure there are many cat image sharing sites out there. A random search landed me here: https://www.funnycatpix.com/_pics/Hmmmmmm890.htm

Seems like a high-quality HN-like website, hehe :)


Considering that pof.com used to run on a single server and handled more dating traffic than all of its competitors combined, you can go pretty damn far for peanuts.


Folks that come from over funded and over engineered companies don’t know this. Because they haven’t experienced it, it’s simply not possible to them. If you have money to burn, you do so.

My company has grown 15x in the last few years and our total infra costs continue to go down, because we pay attention to them.


Every posting about one of the larger scale companies have to have a “why does it cost x / take y engineers to run this thing?” comment. It’s like everyone at google / Facebook / Amazon are too stupid to realize they can run the entire thing out of a server in the basement maintained by 5 engineers.

If it was so simple to host Instagram for peanuts I wonder why no one has done it.


I honestly don’t think it would be hard, especially with AWS abstracting away all scaling issues from you.


Hard to abstract away the money that it'll cost - which is the original point here. They're doing something that costs money, and people want to use that something, so they're doing what it takes to make money from it.


If your business isn’t scaling with users, it’s a business model problem not a technical one


AWS makes around 26% margins (not broken out, it’s markets best guess). At a medium size it can make more cost effect sense to run your own……with the understanding that you have to build a cattle farm, and pets are forbidden. If you every allow a pet, then just go to AWS, et.al.


You need content, which means you need to become popular.

This drives up complexity of the business operation overall, not just the infrastructure.


> What? You thought it was fair that a company spends millions in technical infrastructure and staffing so you can sit at home and spend your time looking at cats for free?

Is that really fair? Would there be nowhere to see pictures of cats without their millions of dollars in infrastructure and staffing? Or could it be that their millions of dollars in infrastructure and staffing for selling ads is the reason the goto place for pictures of cats is BigTechCo instead of a ton of smaller forums and communities each of which is relatively inexpensive to operate.


Ahhh, I remember the good old days of forums where people would "hotlink" an image into a thread, and after enough people started viewing/forwarding that link around it would break because the image hoster's account would get suspended by their host for going over their bandwidth limit, or the original hoster would panic at their bandwidth costs and delete it and/or try to block hotlinking going forward. Maybe something like IPFS could solve this problem soon, but right now freely available image hosting on these centralized providers is the most reliable it's ever been.


On Discourse (open source forum software) we default new install to downloading hotlinked images so we can prevent this very specific problem.


But isn’t that copyright infringement?


Maybe? I'm not a lawyer and I would be surprised if they consulted one before implementing that feature. But unless the license for the file limits access it seems like they're just acting as an almost-proxy for these images, and not misrepresenting their ownership over them.


I'm not a lawyer, either, and have an honest question: how would a download of the image to cache it differ than a download to view it? They're performing the same action (downloading the bits). But, one stores it for later download by others, the second displays it (and maybe gets cached locally in a browser cache, making it look sort of like the first case...). Does intent matter? Is there an implied protection in that you can download for personal use, but cannot distribute? Does that break down on a multi-user computer? i.e. what if I download the image and my computer shows the cached image another user?


Well I believe it's a difference of redirection vs redistribution.

Say you're talking to someone who can teleport instantly across the globe. If you tell him where he can see the Mona Lisa, that's OK. If you grab the Mona Lisa and wave it in his face, that is very un-OK.

Before someone replies with the "but digital items can be copied, it's not stealing", that's the argument most piracy enabling forums and websites are able to get away with. If you host, EG, Nintendo ROMs on your website, you'll get shut down quickly. If you just save links (URL or Magnet), you might get a DMCA for a specific item maybe, but won't get shut down entirely, probably.

As always, there are a lots of exceptions and alternative interpretations though.


No. It’s called hot linking.


I always loved it when someone hotlinked to an image on someone else’s server and instead of taking the image down, they’d replace it with something funny (or more frequently, horrible).


The Web wouldn't be a reliable "web" if that behavior were widespread.


I loved it when the web was less reliable.


Something something about goats. ;)


Even with IPFS, you're pushing off infrastructure to someone who probably has some hidden incentive to provide that infrastructure.

Why not just charge the 100th visitor per minute or something? Someone will be motivated to pay the cost. And, if people don't want to pay? Well, even those with less motivation will find a way to the content somehow.


Aggregation and distribution are virtues of large communities, not small ones. The sophistication of Facebok's business is what allows the creation and distribution of content. I agree that if Facebook, Snap, Pinterest, Reddit, Nextdoor, Twitter etc, didn't exist, small communities would fill that void... But they would do through a fragmented and siloed user experience that is hardly discoverable for the majority of the connected world.

This is the equivalent of running a taxi business vs running an airline. Sure, a taxi can fulfill several transportation needs but it could never replace what an airline does.


> ...small communities would fill that void.

For a short time, and the overwhelming majority of people would have no idea that content exists. Then some enterprising startup founder would realize that there's a huge market for those exact services, and history would slowly repeat (rhyme with?) itself.

This free content, sans big tech pipedream is just that. Sorry if that makes you sad.


Once upon a time Google Search was there to help you find those small online communities.


You're moving the centralization problem to google, then.


So, which do you want? A go-to place to see <insert arbitrary interest here>, or a ton of smaller forums and communities?


Have many smaller ones and aggregate them by yourself with RSS feeds.


And the vast majority of the internet-using populace, who will never figure this out, can just go screw themselves?


Yeah, it's incredible complex to figure out. (/s)

People on this site continually underestimate the ability of users.


I mean, yea it is.

My mother is not going to set up a RSS feed for herself of a list of forums that interest her. She does know how to log on to Facebook and look at the feed.


With decent RSS support at the browser level, the experience isn't meaningfully different.

- See interesting page -> click the Facebook follow button to get it added to your FB feed

- See interesting page -> click the RSS button to get it added to your RSS feed


You're wrong. That exact thing existed before, and that's not what happened.


They can still have ads for people that don't create an account.

I think the point you are trying to make is that people are demanding free (as in beer) content, a la WinAmp of the 1990's. In the past 20 years, we've come around out of that greedy phase and have come to accept a certain amount of advertising for content. But when the non-free content dominates the free content (e.g. pinterest's SEO), it's a fuck you pattern and not consumer greed.

EDIT: IMHO


An important point is that WinAmp was not hosting content, so the cost was limited to the relatively small development cost. And there's still lots of that around.

Once you get into actual hosting, it's very hard to get past a small number of users without a lot of funding. And since a lot of users don't want to pay, well...


That's a good point. I was referring to the sentiment at the time where people thought there was nothing wrong with sharing music files that one person paid for and then millions copied, rather than buy. Putting aside the ethics of $1/song as good or bad, there was a sense of entitlement that I think has been tempered. Maybe?


Kinda offtopic but Instagram's ads changed my attitude towards ads, and my attitude towards Facebook's creepy level of insight into my life and personality. If they have that data anyway -- and hundreds of companies do -- I might as well benefit from it, and Instagram's ads were the first ones that I actually found interesting. First of all, it was obvious when something was an ad. Second, they weren't intrusive or obnoxious. And third, they showed me cool stuff I actually wanted to buy! It was actually an enjoyable experience and that's so weird to say about ads.

The surveillance part still creeps me the hell out, but if they're gonna do it anyway they might as well use that data to benefit my life.

(On that note, I often find myself wishing I could ask the NSA for a copy of an old message or photo...)


Personally, I don't particularly care if companies have my data. However, I vehemently don't want them to use it for algorithmic recommendations—including ads—because it puts me in a filter bubble.

All these technology companies are making assumptions about the type of person I am, and then molding me into that person. I can't learn about topics I don't see, so if the tech giants are convinced I like technology and computers, that's all I will ever learn about.

Maybe I'd be happier if I took up ballet dancing, or basket-weaving, or something else I can't begin to imagine. That seems much less likely to happen when I'm trapped in an algorithmic box, that assumes my past will dictate my future.


My recent Amazon experience when I bought a stereo audio mixer: "Here, look at 50 other stereo audio mixers even though we know you already bought one! And also have data showing you viewed all of these and didn't buy them!"

On some level the way company's advertise is basically an argument against them having my data being a threat, because they can't manage to come up with anything better then that, in a product space where there's a whole massive ecosystem of technology which might be useful to me.

And thats...really just me complaining about the ads not targeting well. Like, I am quite interested in knowing if my nascent desktop audio management could be better! I don't know what's out there, and I've given you a price range estimate through how long I searched before spending!


But see, they're still putting you in a box! Now you will be more likely to encounter stereo mixers than other types of products. Sure, it's obvious and on a small scale, but when every website is doing it, what's the cumulative affect?

Choice is good. I've certainly groaned at my share of ads on traditional television, and so I can understand why someone might find targeted ads preferable. I just don't share that desire!

Amazon in particular irks me because they don't give you a choice, no matter how deep you dig into settings! You can turn off browsing history, but it's stored in a cookie per-device and also seems to randomly come back on sometimes. Even then, they'll still use your purchase history for recommendations. I used to manually go through and mark everything I bought as a gift, and this worked for a while—but then Amazon apparently decided I'd given to many gifts and started ignoring the signal.


Precisely why I tend to look for inspiration in real life rather than social media. Facebook keeps showing me ads for synths and other electronic music related stuff, while in real life I have already moved on to classical music.

I think life in a big city can be your "social feed" without any bias. A big city can offer so many things and ideas if you just go out, meet random people and listen to what they say.


Help! I'm stuck in a local maxima and I can't tell how to escape!


By blocking Facebook tracking me around the web, I now see ads for things my girlfriend might be interested in as we share an IP address. Makes for more interesting adverts and I get a better idea of gifts to buy her.


> If they have that data anyway -- and hundreds of companies do -- I might as well benefit from it, and Instagram's ads were the first ones that I actually found interesting.

I always feel a little depressed when someone describes being more effectively manipulated as "benefiting."


Subjectively it's the difference between "why am I getting ads for pregnancy tests and skirts, I'm a basement-dwelling troglodyte" and "wtf, they're actually showing me things I'd want to buy (if I had money)".

Joke's on them either way, they somehow haven't figured out I'm broke! But the difference is between "spying + garbage ads" and "spying + a bunch of cool shit I didn't even know existed" I'm gonna go for the latter.

Obviously the correct answer is neither: just use Adblock and/or pay for services you use and enjoy. For example I paid for YouTube premium so I could get an ad-free experience on mobile (because YouTube ads are somehow both horribly intrusive and horribly irrelevant, despite Google's apparent omniscience!).

By all accounts Google should know much more about me than Facebook does, but somehow their ads invoke a response somewhere between mild irritation and outright rage and disgust. Meanwhile on Instagram: "hey, I really like this backpack", "wtf they're selling psilocybin in capsules now? And I can just buy it? Nobody even told me that existed! Thanks Instagram!" Like I said, that was a pretty surreal moment for me.


Anecdotal evidence, but my experience with IG ads was very different. I ordered stuff (mostly clothing) a few times (4 or 5) from IG ads and was very disappointed with the quality and service every single time. I now refuse to fall for IG ads ever again.


IG certainly doesn’t vet their advertisers very well. But what do they care if it’s a scam, they got paid.


I second this, the only ads I’ve ever willingly clicked/tapped on with the intention of buying were from Instagram


And that is quite a feat given how little information I hace willingly given Facebook compared to how I - until a few years ago - more or less volunteeres my data to Google.

Google knew everything about it and yet couldn't manage to serve anything but the sleaziest ads.

Instagram got the table scraps and yet convinced me to buy at least one thing that I'm actually happy with.


Is it perhaps you since instagram is showing you a lot of ads, your just skipping the ones you don't care for and finding ones you like. Thus you are under the impression instagram ads are interesting. Or perhaps they're using the facebook data to feed you ads. You don't have to give facebook much, it can make a lot of assumptions based on your network.

In the early days of facebook, they sent me an email to join with 20 people I might know. I knew 19 of them. I have no illusions , facebook knows a ton about me. Even without a profile.

I found the ads on instagram quite intrusive and not relivant (they're the same size as a post), but that's just me ( I don't have a facebook so they can't correlate). I also find quite a few news sites almost unreadable with all the ads.


Yep, seconded. Stopped using FB years ago and I use Instagram for two of my passions - tiny houses and boobs. And, somehow, Instagram figured out that I wanted to buy a Remarkable 2 ;)

But yeah, joking aside, Instagram was the one of few places I actually saw ads of things I wanted to buy. Sure, the ads tried to rip my eyes out for those products ($50 for a product I found for $5) but still...


As an aside, people complain that Twitter is a toxic place, but if you exclusively subscribe to art accounts, it's one of the most beautiful places on the internet.

Asian artists are an even safer bet: they only post art. How refreshing!


You know, I do see a lot shit on Twitter but somehow my brain has given the low value, spam etc tweets the "advertisement treatment" - I tune it out, don't "see" it.

Any artists in particular you'd recommend?


> And, somehow, Instagram figured out that I wanted to buy a Remarkable 2

The Remarkable website uses the Facebook tracking javascript. If you had visited the Remarkable website then it would know to advertise to you.


That's probably it, yeah. Still, surprising that only Instagram figured the RM2 angle out.


Funnily, I always had the impression that Instagram main (maybe only?) purpose was to watch ads ("influencers" as they call them these days), so I figured out they must be pretty good ads since people are coming there just for them ;)


> The surveillance part still creeps me the hell out, but if they're gonna do it anyway they might as well use that data to benefit my life.

This is such a defeatist narrative, and it isn't even accurate. They in fact don't have your data, that is half why they run these services. Each service you don't use is another piece of you they don't have. It isn't an all or nothing proposition. Throwing up your hands and granting them powers they don't have short circuits the more meaningful deliberation of "is this service worth the cost?"

If I had to guess, I might say that these companies enjoy the strong men we have built them into, because people give in.


Instagram ads are the most obnoxious out of all social media. When looking at stories they often come up every other user. The volume alone is absurd.


Ads are fine. The "fuck you" pattern is letting you see the cat picture for 5 seconds before covering it up and requiring you to create an account and share your data with Facebook before you can see it.


Everyone everywhere has realized throughout the ages that conversion of anything is higher when you get a demo of the product.

This isn't a "fuck you" pattern. They gave you a social media Costco food sample.


Except Costco is very upfront and honest about what a sample is and how it works. The food-based analogy would be they offer you an entire meal then slap you after you take your first small bite letting you know you have to pay to continue eating.


> Everyone everywhere has realized throughout the ages that conversion of anything is higher when you get a demo of the product.

Apparently not video games. Not many game companies offer demos anymore because they actually hurt sales.


> > Everyone everywhere has realized throughout the ages that conversion of anything is higher when you get a demo of the product.

> Apparently not video games. Not many game companies offer demos anymore because they actually hurt sales.

That's interesting. Is that because the demo cannibalizes sales (ie. people have enough fun just playing the demo they don't feel compelled to buy the game), or because the demo undermines the game's value proposition (ie. people don't buy the crappy game because the demo makes the crappiness evident)?


I have no doubt it converts better. Facebook are masters at using little dopamine hits and denials to get users to do whatever they want.

It’s still an obnoxious thing to do, which is the point of the article.


Getting a free article or three, or the first half of one, is a demo.

Letting you glance at it then making it disappear is not a demo.


"No, fuck you. The internet was never meant to be this."

I understand how this shitty agreement came to be but that doesn't mean that I like having my experience online be a metaphorical middle finger.

They spent billions in infrastructure and staffing to hijack the free internet where I could look at cat pictures on cat picture websites that had cat pictures as the goal, all so they could show me ads, and they have the nerve to say that I'm in the wrong for not being happy about that?


The bait and switch. You used to be able to view links of public post.

The bigger the userbase grows, the bigger the fuckyous they can give the rest. It’s no longer “hey join us, we have cool stuff”, it’s “fuck you, we already got your friends, whatcha gonna do”. We can complain about that, right?


That's quite a ridiculous claim. Surely they can display ads to anonymous users, That's not hard at all. But then they can't track you and profile you, which is a big no.

Now is it fair for a company to track and shape the behavior of millions of people?


Facebook/Mark Zuckeberg didn't spend $1B on the infrastructure of Instagram. He bought the network effect that he knew is impossible to beat by a better product.


"All of this is for the very best end, for if there is a volcano at Lisbon, it could be in no other spot; for it is impossible but things should be as they are, for everything is for the best."


Pangloss knew what was up


I'm pretty sure that if they had non-targeted (or at least targeted not based on tracking), unobtrusive ads, and zero dark patterns, they would've been still earning enough money to cover their expenses and then some. Unfortunately, they've set out to earn all the money in the world for no benefit to anyone at all.


If you manage to build a large enough empire, then... and only then, can you make the world a better place.


Either you're the customer or you're the product. Recognizing that nearly all internet companies do this allows you to identify what level you're comfortable with and duck out or move on if needed. It's always good to review your social media habits and scale back.

I recommend doing this the same time you're spring cleaning or after you prep for winter. Also go through and unsubscribe from emails and update passwords.


> Either you're the customer or you're the product.

Or you're both. Or perhaps none.

I kinda like that we have now such a big, visible and studied echosystem where we'll see any pattern working at a significant scale.

Any kind of dichotomy just doesn't cut it anymore I think.


1/ They bait people in to destroy any sane competition. Then they milk them.

2/ Well fuck you even further and go to hell for defending such behaviours.

3/ ps. Their infra is ridiculous. A team of 100-120 engineers can do way better. They can’t get their user base though because of 1/


How is Instagram's profitability? Like the OP sometimes I'd like to look at a feed anonymously. Why can't they still serve ads based on content?

Similarly, it use to be that going to the app showed me "my feed". Sometime in the last 6 month it changed to only show me the newest post of people I'm following and then only posts of random "popular" people of which I have zero interest.

If they want to make money from me, I'd use the app more with the old style of showing me only posts from people I follow with an ad every few posts, like say 1 ad 2 3 ad 4 5 6 ad 7 8 9 ad. As it is now I barely use the app anymore. Of course I'm not the target audience.


Don't believe the lie that ads and dark patterns are the only way to run the internet. I remember the internet of the 90s, we had ways to look at cat pictures, too. And ads back then were way less obstrusive and tracking basically nonexistant.

The issue is that FB+Insta try very hard to become the first/default go-to place for people to post content, just to lure in others and extract value out of them.


If that's the case then Instagram should not entice people in by temporarily granting access. It should be upfront about requiring an account.


And furthermore all the content should be delisted from Google for cloaking https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/guideline...


Okay, then they need to SAY THAT. All of them need to be CLEAR about what their business model is and how it works, and do not give any mess about "free markets" or "trade secrets" here, they have captured too much attention to be treated with kid gloves.


"X is self evident, but maybe not to you," seems to me like a fundamentally flawed argument.


People constantly think that Facebook/Insta/Google is trying to do good things for the users or that whatever is good for users is good for BigCo-s.

So sometimes it is true, but most of the time it is not and BigCo-s have to push users to do things.


This company neither has these cats, nor creates a content with them. Sites with images are full of cats and ads, but only instagram is arrogant enough to demand your ids. It’s easy to fuck the instagram, really, because it barely has anything of value that is not reposted elsewhere, or just similar. I’d even have a profile on it if it weren’t such a moron (judging by other sites with cats, where I register eventually after some lurking). They don’t know basic internet rules and deserve everything said above and below.


> This is the implied agreement. You understand it, or you don't.

I'm fine with businesses who use that model and make it clear. Those kinds of tactics are galling coming from a company whose literal mission statement is "Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together."

If you want people to make an account, make a more compelling business proposition. Gatekeeping seems like the most vulnerable, monopolistic position to take.


Nah sorry. The reason companies that own social media don’t offer ad and tracker free versions is because then they’d have to say to their userbase what they’ll remove, and thereby what’s in the regular product. Their business model depends upon the ignorance of their userbase of what they’re doing, and they’re holding their network as hostage for those who don’t wish to participate.

Unfederated and (forced) open systems is the only way out of this.


It's not just about ads .. they can just show them to this visitor if it was. It's about targeted ads. They have slightly limited ability to target if the viewer doesn't sign in .. for which the viewer needs to accept their T&C .. which is needed for them so someone doesn't sue them for invading their privacy without their consent.

IANAL so I'm not sure whether such a suit will stand in any court.


There seem to be many non tech savvy people who were shocked by docos like Social Dilemma and don't understand they are the product. They think they are 'just looking at cats'. Maybe these companies should clearly display on their front page they in personal data collection and targeted advertising business.


Same thing happened with cable TV back in the day. It is about extracting as Mich value as most people will tolerate. There is no escaping ads if a company isn't principally opposed to them and charges directly for their product


> "Well, fuck you, too. We're here to sell ads."

Go fuck your self. Internet was never meant to be sell ads for you. Companies found loop hole and now you think you are entitled to it. Snap out of it asshole


Wait, ad click through tracking now only works for registered users? When did that change? More importantly, what are all these ads doing on pages that don't require me to login?


You can advertise without abusing the user.


I don't really see an agreement here. It's also not Instagrams content they are hiding behind the implied paywall. Because that's the real hidden truth, they make you pay, not with money, but with your soul. They will stalk you everywhere to the end of your existence, try to learn everything about you and use it against you in every way they can that gains them something.

It's been bad a long time now, but not like this. You really want to tell me it was this blatant?

So yeah, fuck you, I just wanted to look at cats.


The users of Instagram create the value though. The ones posting the cat pictures.


>You thought it was fair that a company spends millions in technical infrastructure

You almost had me, right up to this point. Then I realized you are posting pointed sarcasm about instagram's owners.


“Wow fuck you, I don’t.”


Seems this would fit with surveillance capitalism:

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


So did Instagram employ these fuck-you patterns from the start, or did they pretend to be friendly until they'd gotten enough market share and network effects?

That's called bait & switch, and is (if not legally in this case, then morally) rightly considered fraud.


Until they populate all the top search results with those patterns.

This apologies for any unethical practice by companies in Reddit/HNs are really interesting. They side completely with the authorities. Properly trained.




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