University of York: Study reveals online fake reviewers suffer from pangs of conscience

University of York: Study reveals online fake reviewers suffer from pangs of conscience. “The study, led by the University of York, found individuals to be quite competent in writing compelling fake reviews in unpredictable ways, but it caused a moral dilemma for some. The researchers say the findings of the study could be used by websites to put in place better systems to detect fake reviews, which could appeal to the contributor’s moral obligation to be truthful.”

WIRED: This App Gives Your Screenshots Superpowers. That’s Just the Beginning

WIRED: This App Gives Your Screenshots Superpowers. That’s Just the Beginning. “What if screenshots were linkable, or portals to the playlist, the mapped location, the shopping page you wanted to share? That’s the reality Alex Mahedy has been trying to create for the past few years. The twentysomething New York City–based entrepreneur has even convinced some noteworthy venture capitalists to fund the idea. He just launched a new app for sharing link-enabled screenshots, called Pager.”

Swipe and buy: Social media is now a destination for holiday shopping (Washington Post)

Washington Post: Swipe and buy: Social media is now a destination for holiday shopping. “Savannah Baron keeps an exhaustive spreadsheet of perfect gifts: a camping chair love seat for the couple who enjoys the outdoors; a refillable candle for your eco-conscious cousin; a cocktail infusion kit for the friend who’s into mixology. It’s not for her. It’s for her 189,000 TikTok followers.”

University of Kansas: New Approach Could Help Protect Consumer Data Exposed In Purchase Transactions

University of Kansas: New Approach Could Help Protect Consumer Data Exposed In Purchase Transactions. “Whether they are shopping at Costco or watching Netflix, consumers are consistently exposing personal data. Even though companies may be taking reasonable precautions to protect customers (including those provisions required by law), the distinctiveness of purchasing patterns creates a privacy vulnerability.”

Reuters: Exclusive-Scores of Google rivals want EU tech law used in antitrust case – letter

Reuters: Exclusive-Scores of Google rivals want EU tech law used in antitrust case – letter. “More than 40 European rivals to Google’s shopping service urged EU antitrust regulators on Monday to use newly adopted tech rules to ensure the Alphabet unit complies with a 2017 EU order to allow more competition on its search page. The European Commission fined Google 2.4 billion euros ($2.33 billion) five years ago and told the firm to stop favouring its shopping service.”

Newswise: Score a discount on Amazon? You might’ve unwittingly paid more

Newswise: Score a discount on Amazon? You might’ve unwittingly paid more. “More than a quarter of vacuum cleaners sold on Amazon have at some point pretended to offer a discount when they had actually just increased the price, according to new research. By pairing a price increase with the introduction of a previously unadvertised ‘list price’ for a product, Amazon signals to shoppers that they are receiving a discount when they actually pay 23% more, on average, for their new vacuum than they would have just a day earlier. Days after the price hike, the price drops and both the list price and misleading discount claim disappear.”

FTC: FTC issues illuminating report on digital dark patterns

FTC: FTC issues illuminating report on digital dark patterns. “As the FTC’s 2021 workshop, Bringing Dark Patterns to Light, and recent academic literature establish, dark patterns take on a variety of nefarious guises – for example, hiding the full cost of a transaction behind nondescript dropdown arrows or small icons, sending people on a digital scavenger hunt just to cancel a subscription, using default settings to subvert their privacy choices, or even sneaking stuff into customers’ shopping carts without their knowledge.”

Krebs on Security: Transacting in Person with Strangers from the Internet

Krebs on Security: Transacting in Person with Strangers from the Internet. “Communities like Craigslist, OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace and others are great for finding low- or no-cost stuff that one can pick up directly from a nearby seller, and for getting rid of useful things that don’t deserve to end up in a landfill. But when dealing with strangers from the Internet, there is always a risk that the person you’ve agreed to meet has other intentions.”

University of Florida: Smartphones push consumers to prefer unique, tailored products

University of Florida: Smartphones push consumers to prefer unique, tailored products. “Personalized wine lists. Tailored clothing options. Unique experiences just for you. The world is awash in products and services that promise to provide custom experiences to every consumer. And it turns out our smartphones are pushing us to unconsciously prefer just these kinds of customized options.”

CNN: Here today, gone tomorrow: China’s vanishing livestreamers

CNN: Here today, gone tomorrow: China’s vanishing livestreamers. “The 30-year-old livestreamer, also known as Austin Li, was — until recently — one of China’s biggest internet celebrities, with 64 million followers on Taobao, an online shopping platform. He once sold 15,000 lipsticks within five minutes in a sales competition against Alibaba founder Jack Ma, winning himself the nickname ‘China’s lipstick king.’ But the superstar salesman has gone silent after his popular livestream show was abruptly cut off on the eve of the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre this year.”

TIME: Inside the War on Fake Consumer Reviews

TIME: Inside the War on Fake Consumer Reviews. “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to supercharge global e-commerce, this kind of fraud has emerged as one of the most significant factors contributing to an erosion of consumer confidence in the online marketplace. Fake reviews influenced around $152 billion in global spending on lackluster products and services last year, according to a report from the World Economic Forum.”

Wall Street Journal: The Surprising Reason Your Amazon Searches Are Returning More Confusing Results than Ever

Wall Street Journal: The Surprising Reason Your Amazon Searches Are Returning More Confusing Results than Ever. “If you want to be reminded just how tiny you are, you could travel to a remote part of the world and behold the night sky, or stand atop a mountain and contemplate its immensity, or you could try to find the best garlic press on Amazon… Granted, there are many more stars in the night sky than the 300 or so garlic presses visible on Amazon’s U.S. site. But wading through page after page of those listings, for items with tens of thousands of collective reviews, is, like many searches on Amazon, increasingly an exercise in frustration, despair and confusion.”