Problem ID: 2003614719564236515
Entered by: Pradeep Soundararajan

Someone updated their "gender"?

I think Orkut is more famous than Facebook in India and Brazil. They started providing updates of what our friends are updating in their profile.

A friend of mine had not added his gender to his profile when he registered long ago. Recently he probably thought it is good idea to add it. When he did that, I got to see the following:

OMG! What am I supposed to think?

I think the code might have been written something like:

name_value & " updated " & label_value
The test of does it display the update to friends might have passed but what about tests to see if this can hurt any user? Is it likely to be misunderstood? My friend did not change his gender. He set a value in a profile form.

What other updates may not be understood as intended?



March 10, 2009 at 2:33 AM  
Comment ID: 1962606262764414254
Written by: Lisha

I think the problem here is that you equate "updated" with "changed in real life". I can post new pictures and that's an update, even if the pictures are 20 years old. I can add my previously un-listed hair color and that's an update, too.

March 10, 2009 at 4:57 AM  
Comment ID: 3970826440409656612
Written by: Ben Simo

This may or may not be a problem depending on whether the use of "updated" is consistent with its use in the context of Orkut and the user.

1) What does the word "updated" mean in different English-speaking countries & cultures? Might it have different implications to different people? Is the use of "updated" consistent with users' understanding of the word?

2) What kinds of things show up in this Orkut update lists? Is the use of "updated" consistent within this feature?

So is this a problem? I think ... it depends. ;)

March 10, 2009 at 10:08 AM  
Comment ID: 1445545495572229708
Written by: Pradeep Soundararajan

In a country like India, to the best of my knowledge, a physical gender change is not a socially acceptable one. People might stop talking one such person who underwent a gender change surgery and it can put the person to depression.

So, is there a problem? ( in that context )

March 12, 2009 at 12:02 AM  
Comment ID: 4524970281934459549
Written by: Anonymous

For a while, if you changed your profile on Facebook to married, it would tell people that you just got married (and all your friends would jokingly congratulate you). Now it says something a bit less specific like that the person is now listed as married...


January 9, 2010 at 7:59 AM  
Comment ID: 3557760000449444941
Written by: Wayne Farmer

Like Lisha said, "updated" in this case is shorthand for "updated their database entry for". For a site like this, the reader should expect the computer to report what the user has manually put into the database, and to understand that the time of the database entry change is not necessarily the time of the actual fact (in the case of a male user, the gender change happened some months before they were born).

The problem could get worse, however, if the database entries began more and more to report what the computer has learned about the user that did NOT come from the user updating their database. For example, if the user enabled a mobile location tracking system, a poorly worded system could report "User Foo has moved to Los Angeles, CA" rather than "User Foo is now in Los Angeles, CA".

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