An Unyielding Advocate for Users

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

Jamison Foser: The New York Times Invents a Biden Scandal -- And the Public's Reaction

Stop and think about that for a second. Why would this be true? If the two cases are “markedly different,” why would Democrats “have a hard time using Trump’s mishandling of classified papers against him”? The only way that makes sense is if the public wrongly perceives the two cases to be similar, rather than markedly different. And how does the public learn about the two cases? Well, in large part from journalists like Peter Baker. So if journalists like Peter Baker treat the cases as markedly different (as Peter Baker knows they are), the public will perceive them as markedly different

Forget about the politics involved in this quote, and I would just point out that this is what I think about my role in commenting on tech. I feel all too often pundits get stuck in the trap of explaining to users why companies make decisions that are in the company's interest, not their users' interests.

If you want to get an example of this in real time, just post something about how Apple should adopt RCS since it would make texting with your friends and family better. You mentions will fill with people telling you why that's not a good business move for Apple, even though it would make your usage better.

I think there is value in understanding why companies do what they do, but I also don't have any interest in trying to tamp down users' complaints by explaining to them why it actually makes business sense for their experience not to improve how they want. I don't have much power in the world of technology, but I do hope I can use whatever influence I have to be an unyielding advocate for users.