Here’s a story about how subtly things that seem “good” can also be harmful. (It also appeared earlier on Twitter. I have re-written it slightly.)
I logged into Facebook this afternoon and at the top of my feed was a dialog asking if my workplace was also my business (it is):
There’s two things to notice here:
First, the direct question: “Is Very Little Gravitas, LLC your business?”
Second, the two dialog buttons. The dialog appears — whether intentionally designed to do so or not — to allow two routes to proceed, two route to resolution.
- Yes, this is my business; or
- No, this is not my business.
There’s some copy in the middle (“If this is your business, you can claim its Facebook Page to help grow your business on Facebook.”
But, the question being asked isn’t “Do you want to grow your business on Facebook?”
The question being asked is “Is this your business?”
“Is this your business?” feels like an innocuous question. And we’re a social species — generally speaking, we like to be helpful.
As I’m presented with this dialog, I’m aware of being very minded to answer “Yes,” and this isn’t just because “Yes” is highlighted and encouraged to be the default action.
Then, I figure out what’s unsettling me about this dialog, given the current context (technology in 2018!) and the context in which Facebook currently operates.