How businesses trick you into buying more than you wanted

This list is about the tricks that restaurants use to – often – trick you in to buying more than you intended to buy.

Source: Upselling Tips: 26 Phrases Servers Say for Bigger Sales – Buzztime

Upselling is when sales people use tricks to get you to add more to your order – or buy more than you wanted or needed.

In the restaurant example, employees are trained in how to manipulate you – basically, a form of propaganda messaging used to persuade you to buy more.

(One business we no longer shop at is Best Buy. They are notorious for upselling the customer, and if that doesn’t work, then they sneak in odd stuff like … a computer anti-virus contract – and tell you that you won’t pay anything if you never activate it. You never activate it … and they still bill you for it. Upsellers are scummy businesses and are best avoided.)

View counts on Youtube are faked

Video creators readily purchase views, by the thousands, as well as fake likes. By doing this, Google pushes their videos higher up in search rankings and in recommended video lists.

Essentially *all* of the Youtube stars who got started in the earlier years (which is most of today’s Youtube stars) used fake views to inflate their viewership. Back then it was incredibly easy – you could put a Youtube video player one hundred times on an HTML page and each time the page was reloaded, it would add 100 views. Tricks like that were shut down long ago.

Now, YouTubers just buy views to help establish their channels. The reason is because there is vast amounts of content on Youtube now – and its extraordinarily difficult for new channels to get underway. I read it can take 3 or more years of steadily posting videos before a new channel will have much of a following. You need something to “hook” the reader, from unusual/odd to young and cute.

#Facebook sees sizeable decline in monthly page visits

Traffic to Facebook.com has fallen from ~8.5 billion visits per month to ~4.7 billion over two years.

Source: Impending shakeup in Top Five Websites

Those losses have been made up by increasing use of other Facebook resources, such as Instagram. It may just mean that fewer people use Facebook via the Facebook.com web site but continue to access Facebook data through mobile apps.

 

Journalists and Academics seek special privileges on Facebook

Facebook restricts certain conduct on its platform. However, journalists and academics are seeking to be treated as special, and receive special privileges to do things that are prohibited for others.

Journalists and academics, for example, would be permitted to set up fake accounts with fake or curated content, for the purpose of studying users.

Individuals, however, would be banned from conducting the exact same research and thus, would be prohibited from verifying or evaluating the work of journalists and academics. Basically, the proposal is to have a group of “elite” Facebook users and everyone else are lab rats.

Fake comments too? How everything is fake on the Internet

This blog has commented in the past on the problem of fake reviews all over the Internet. Fake reviews are used to make a product sound better or sometimes to make a competitor’s product sound awful. It is difficult to rely on Amazon product reviews, for example, because for many products, an overwhelming number of reviews are fake. Web sites like fakespot.com help people identify products that are flooded with fake reviews.

I rarely look at YouTube comments but just looked at comments on a video by a prominent YouTube reviewer. It looked like almost all of the comments were bogus – literally posting a few words of near nonsense that added nothing to the discussion. Seems they are trying to get visibility for themselves in hopes that a few people will click on their YouTube ID and then pick up more views or subscribers. A few comments even ask the reader to check out their channel.

The high prevalence of fake stuff on the Internet is turning the Internet in to something far less than what we all envisioned 10 or 20 years ago.

Today, the primary business model of the Internet is surveillance for the purpose of producing targeted advertising to get you to buy something or adopt someone else’s agenda.

Repeat after me: #Facebook is a global surveillance business

Been saying this for a long:

Facebook has long claimed that its mission is to develop social infrastructure and — *gag* — build community. That no longer passes the giggle test. What they really want to do is follow people around the Internet, collect and organize what they learn and sell that information to the highest bidder.

Source: Wall Street finally taught Zuckerberg the lesson he deserved

Their entire business is to create the world’s best propaganda platform through the collection and analysis of enormous quantities of data about the billions of people who use the service. That is their entire business model.

The sole business of Facebook is propaganda

And it’s now starting to fail because people are no longer comfortable knowing they are handing over personal information “to those creating havoc and dissension”.

Does the Facebook model work and can it be fixed? By design it’s a means for companies or individuals to direct targeted messages, videos, and news to people with particular beliefs and characteristics. That tool is available to pretty much anyone.

Source: Facebook’s Stock Plunge Is a Catastrophe of Mark Zuckerberg’s Own Making | Trending

The Facebook advertising company continues to discriminate against workers based on their age and gender

“Right now as we speak, Facebook is literally sending job ads that exclude people on the basis of their age,” he said. “It’s laudable that the AG has gotten Facebook to agree to some basic first steps, but this agreement really doesn’t do much more than what FB has agreed to do voluntarily.”

The agreement also enables Facebook to continue doing ad discrimination on the basis of gender.

Source: Facebook is now legally bound to stop advertisers from excluding people because of their race – SFGate

Until this agreement was made, Facebook permitted discrimination based on race and sexual orientation. Even after this agreement, however, Facebook will continue to permit advertisers to narrowly target ads based on age and gender.

Numerous large and small corporations in the U.S. have used this feature to display their ads only to those aged 21-34 (as an example) or to target, say, nursing or elementary school teaching ads, only at women. By preventing workers from seeing the job ads, companies use this feature to legally discriminate against hiring workers in entire classes because workers never see the ads and therefore, never apply for the jobs.

Incredibly, the State of Washington’s Attorney General signed an agreement with Facebook that continues the status quo in Facebook age and gender discrimination.

While many may think, “Oh, this only affects ads shown on Facebook”, that is incorrect. Virtually all online ads are delivered by either the Facebook or Google ad networks. Essentially all online advertising including employment ads, is targeting age and gender.

Mark Zuckerberg has long believed in age discrimination and now owns the largest ad network in the world to further his “master age” thesis. Before he turned 30 years old, he famously told Stanford University students in 2007:

“I want to stress the importance of being young and technical,” the tech genius told budding technology entrepreneurs at Stanford University in 2007.

 

“Young people are just smarter. Why are most chess masters under 30? I don’t know. Young people just have simpler lives. We may not own a car. We may not have family. Simplicity in life allows you to focus on what’s important.”