Deceptive Design – formerly darkpatterns.org

Hall of shame

Luton airport, after prepaying for parking

Airtable ID

605

Luton airport website shows a disguised ad. It appears to be a "continue" button leading on from the checkout, but in fact tricks users into subscribing to a totally unrelated service.

| Aug 21, 2022

| Socially Distant David | Aug 21, 2022

Skype tricks users into uploading their address book - via a dialog box that has no visible option to refuse.

Airtable ID

609

Noticed my Skype client on the iPad started doing this sneaky crap where when you open the app it presents a prompt that asks you to approve sharing all your contacts w/ Skype. And there's no visible way to say "no."

| Aug 21, 2022

| briankrebs | Aug 21, 2022

Nice dark pattern @treatwellnl! That didn't work.

Airtable ID

606

Treatwell uses trick questions - alternating sentiment for its checkbox labels - to trick users into agreeing to emails or tracking.

| Aug 21, 2022

| Riccardo | Aug 21, 2022

Instagram doesn’t allow me to keep my account deactivated. Instead it reactivates and doesn’t allow me to deactivate it again.

Airtable ID

608

"Sorry, you can only disable your account once a week. Try again in a few days."

| Aug 21, 2022

| AssholeDesign | Aug 21, 2022

Imagine getting locked out of your smart home thermostat because your credit card expired on an e-commerce store account.

Airtable ID

604

"Last month we had debit card fraud, where bank sent us new card. [...] Meanwhile, everything Amazon shut down for us. Amazon, Alexa, smart thermometers. Worst of all - the last season of #BetterCallSaul, which I *paid* for."

| Aug 21, 2022

| Phil Hill | Aug 21, 2022

When a user uses duolingo on a series of consecutive days, this is called a streak. If users miss a day, they can pay to 'repair' it.

Airtable ID

600

Wow, didn't know you could pay to continue your broken streak on Duolingo. Not sure how I feel about this.

| Aug 21, 2022

| Paras Chopra | Aug 21, 2022

“By cancelling, I acknowledge: HP Instant Ink subscription cartridges will no longer work after my final billing cycle ends, even if they are already installed in my printer.”

Airtable ID

603

"Because instant ink bills at the end of each billing cycle, I will receive one final bill for $11.99, plus charges for any additional pages printed. I will lose rollover pages associated with my account."

| Aug 21, 2022

| AssholeDesign | Aug 21, 2022

Duolingo's A/B testing use is causing users to flock to its premium model, now at 3.3 million accounts

Airtable ID

599

'"We use A/B testing to optimize nearly everything related to our products, from new gamification features, to our learning content, to our Super [Duolingo] purchase page design, and even to the notifications that learners receive as reminders to do their lessons," said von Ahn'

| Aug 21, 2022

| Pittsburgh Inno | Aug 21, 2022

If Jeff Bezos or Amazon executives like CEO Andy Jassy used vanishing messages to discuss Prime, the FTC wants them handed over as it investigates the company's sign-up tactics

Airtable ID

598

The FTC wants Amazon to fork over any disappearing messages that executives used to discuss Prime.The federal agency has been probing Amazon over potentially misleading tactics used to get people to subscribe. Insider reported in March that Amazon execs were worried customers felt tricked into signing up but did nothing.

| Aug 21, 2022

| Insider | Aug 21, 2022

An opinion poll on Trump's website contains a deceptive request for a donation, with recurring monthly repayments preselected.

Airtable ID

596

"Still raising cash off stealing Top Secret documents."

| Aug 21, 2022

| Ron Filipkowski | Aug 21, 2022

Moonpig email hides the unsubscribe link using black text on a black background.

Airtable ID

597

"How nice of you to hide the unsubscribe link "

| Aug 21, 2022

| Ben | Aug 21, 2022

Sedo's deceptive cookie UI involves an "Accept all" button where the user would expect a "Continue" button.

Airtable ID

595

Nice cookie selection dark pattern from Sedo to start the morning.

| Aug 21, 2022

| Harry Bailey | Aug 21, 2022

When Tech Companies Do It, The NY Times Calls It ‘Dark Patterns,’; When The NY Times Does It, It’s Called ‘Being Smart'

Airtable ID

589

"There’s a spectrum of behavior — some of which is just smart business and tech practices, and some of which is more nefarious. But using the term “dark patterns” to broadly describe anything that we don’t understand, or can’t see that is designed to get you to do something… becomes problematic pretty quickly. "

| Aug 21, 2022

| Techdirt | Aug 21, 2022

In-app browsers (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok) found to track everything that users do.

Airtable ID

592

Do not browse the web in in-app browsers (e.g. in apps like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok). Experience is bad. Those apps also INJECT TRACKING INSTRUCTIONS. They control every interaction, all that is typed, clicked... Browse with normal web browsers.

| Aug 21, 2022

| Lukasz Olejnik | Aug 21, 2022

After 30 days, Instagram forces users to see suggested posts, even though they requested for them to be hidden.

Airtable ID

584

"AKA “We will automatically uncheck your stated preferences and ruin your experience once a month until we wear you down and you stop manually re-checking them.”"

| Aug 06, 2022

| Peter V. Brett | Aug 06, 2022

How Facebook Manipulates You Using Dark Patterns

Airtable ID

583

"A 6 minute video below that explains how Facebook's UI employs dark patterns that make users share more data than they may intend."

| Aug 06, 2022

| Luiza Jarovsky | Aug 06, 2022

Capitalone uses confirmshaming to encourage users to install a browser extension that tracks them extensively.

Airtable ID

586

Sign up for CapitalOne Shopping and you get Confirmshaming and Privacy Zuckering. BTW thanks to Safari for making the data you’re trying to harvest so very obvious.

| Aug 21, 2022

| Lisa Woodley | Aug 21, 2022

Patreon uses a deceptive UI in its cookie dialog.

Airtable ID

582

"Such unclear langage is probably not GDPR compliant. What is really happening when I click on “Reject All” and then “Accept”? I hope it’s not a dark pattern to force me to “accept” your cookies."

| Aug 06, 2022

| Olivier Simard-Casanova | Aug 06, 2022

Adobe interupts users with large pop-up ad they press "Save" in Adobe illustrator, a product they have already paid for.

Airtable ID

579

"It's easy to dunk on Adobe software quality, I know. But I hit "Save" in Illustrator and got this hilariously huge cloudsell."

| Aug 06, 2022

| Cabel | Aug 06, 2022

Ask HN: What's up with these DoorDash dark patterns?

Airtable ID

578

"you can't actually drill into and read reviews which makes assessing the actual quality of the restaurant difficult. And I've found that restaurants will run their own "ghost kitchen" shadow restaurant out of their main (poorly rated) location."

| Aug 04, 2022

| flycatcha | Aug 04, 2022

AT&T alternates the meaning of on and off in their email preferences page.

Airtable ID

571

"A fun dark pattern from ATT: you can turn specific marketing emails OFF or you can turn Unsubscribe ON."

| Aug 06, 2022

| Matt Hodges | Aug 06, 2022

Facebook's "mute notifications" UI uses confusing language and provides only provides temporary options (e.g. 15 mins).

Airtable ID

577

"fun lil deceptive UI pattern from (apparently desperate) F*cebook this morning: I updated my phone & shortly after got a push notification from FB - I’ve had those turned entirely off for at least 3-4 years! so I go spelunking in the settings…"

| Aug 06, 2022

| Cyd Harrell | Aug 06, 2022

'The Farmers Dog' requires users to enter many pages of personal data before they can view prices.

Airtable ID

569

"this is a gross dark pattern from ⁦@thefarmersdog⁩. you have to affirm the marketing material before you’re allowed to see a price."

| Aug 06, 2022

| Eric Jacobs | Aug 06, 2022

Boston Globe subscriptions cannot be cancelled in the first 24 hours of creating them.

Airtable ID

567

"Signed up for the @BostonGlobe to read an article. Article was 'meh', so wanted to cancel my sub. Cannot do it online, have to call. The agent tells me: 'You can't cancel the first 24 hours because you'll only show up in the system after...'"

| Jul 28, 2022

| Gergely Orosz | Jul 28, 2022

Expresso requires users to enter their name and email address before they can unsubscribe from emails.

Airtable ID

564

"boa página para quem clica em "editar subscrição" no fim do vosso email não solicitado porque tem outras newsletters que quer manter, @expresso" (Portuguese language example).

| Jul 29, 2022

| Henrique Vasconcelos | Jul 29, 2022

When inviting a new member, Slack does not show the price or the party that will be charged.

Airtable ID

562

"Scenario: Startup wants to invite contractor (who isn't on Slack) as a single-channel guest to their team. Slack shows Startup this modal, most people pick the first one (that's the correct selection) But... this forces the contractor to pay $7/mo"

| Jul 30, 2022

| | Jul 30, 2022

BeyondMenu uses fake reservation confirmation in an email campaign to drive open rates

Airtable ID

561

BeyondMenu used the email subject line "Your Friday reservation is confirmed..." - which was likely to alarm users, none of whom had made a reservation. When opened, the email reads "Your reservation is confirmed with your couch... Order now"

| Jul 30, 2022

| Blinkplays | Jul 30, 2022

Thanks to regulatory action by the ACM, Wish.com no longer allows fake discounts or personalised pricing in the Netherlands

Airtable ID

560

Prices on Wish were personalised, based on location and purchase behaviour. The platform failed to inform its customers about this. Following the ACM's demands the company has decided to end its price personalisation in the EU.

| Jul 30, 2022

| Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) | Jul 30, 2022

Trump email campaigns continue to use a slew of deceptive design techniques.

Airtable ID

559

"LAST CHANCE... We won't email you again." (I got 10 more messages in the next seven hours.) It says I need to "RENEW" a membership I never had in the first place. Fake urgency of final contact to nudge action.

| Jul 30, 2022

| Augie Ray | Jul 30, 2022

HP requires users to create an online account in order to use offline features.

Airtable ID

558

"HP at it again: Have to create an account to scan a document."

| Jul 30, 2022

| SanktusAngus | Jul 30, 2022

Gumtree UK makes it very difficult to opt out of ad tracking.

Airtable ID

557

Gumtree UK provides a "one click" opt-in for ad tracking, yet requires dozens of clicks to opt out.

| Jul 31, 2022

| matt sephton | Jul 31, 2022

Google Maps now requires WiFi scanning to use navigation

Airtable ID

551

"Google has now drawn a line in the sand. Give us all your local SSIDs, local bluetooth connections, with likely even more detail, or they now refuse to allow you to use Maps to navigate."

| Feb 01, 2022

| | Feb 01, 2022

The Psychology Behind Amazon's Purchase Experience

Airtable ID

547

A critical analysis of Amazon's purchasing user journey (spoiler: contains dark patterns!)

| Jan 31, 2022

| Dan Benoni & Louis-Xavier Lavallee | Jan 31, 2022

Reddit manipulates users into installing mobile app

Airtable ID

540

Reddit is famous for their relentless interruptions to their web experience in pushing users towards their native mobile app. Here they experiment with a "cheeky" nudge about cats and dogs.

| Jan 18, 2022

| Szprinktrap | Jan 18, 2022

Steinberg requires users to subscribe to a newsletter before using one of their products

Airtable ID

539

This modal dialog box requires users to subscribe to a mandatory newsletter.

| Jan 17, 2022

| agirres | Jan 17, 2022

Norton and Avast install crytpominer software without user consent

Airtable ID

535

"Norton360 isn't the only antivirus product installing cryptominers. Avira, a "free" antivirus product w/ > 500M users, recently introduced users to Avira Crypto. Avira is now owned by NortonLifeLock, which also just bought Avast antivirus (500M users)"

| Jan 08, 2022

| Brian Krebs | Jan 08, 2022

Facebook makes it tricky to decline an invitation

Airtable ID

537

The user needs to click a small button labelled "..." then select "Decline", then ignore the main button (despite it being the thing they requested) and select the less obvious secondary button labelled "Confirm".

| Jan 16, 2022

| Zach Collier | Jan 16, 2022

Venmo's payment protection feature allows the buyer to add a fee that the sender pays - without their consent

Airtable ID

536

"Venmo has a feature where the person that you’ve requested payment from can opt into payment protection, which adds a 1.9% fee to the transaction that the requestor pays without any sort of consent or control if opted into. It’s a dark pattern that I can’t believe is legal."

| Jan 10, 2022

| witchoria | Jan 10, 2022

NYT subscription takes much longer to cancel than to create.

Airtable ID

534

Cancelling this New York Times subscription took about 8 minutes. Most of the time was just waiting for the CS rep to respond in live chat.

| Jan 07, 2022

| Darkpatterns.org | Jan 07, 2022

In order to refuse cookies, Facebook makes users click a button titled “Accept Cookies”. You have to laugh

Airtable ID

532

"In order to refuse the deposit of cookies,m internet users must click on a button entitled "Accept cookies", displayed in the second window."

| Jan 06, 2022

| Mark Di Stefano | Jan 06, 2022

Barclays bank "Tick the box if you don't want us to tell you about offers..."

Airtable ID

529

"Now I know why I'm getting marketing material posted to me when I thought I'd turned this off"

| Jan 06, 2022

| kimeshan_ | Jan 06, 2022

Twitter's "Install App" modal dialogue prompt on top of all the content is a form of user abuse

Airtable ID

526

"The company should know by now, based on the dozens of previous rejections: I'm not interested!"

| Jan 01, 2022

| Metadat | Jan 01, 2022

Why is it so easy to rack up huge bills from AWS without intending?

Airtable ID

522

Are they purposefully neglecting to create cost control, projection and notification features?

| Dec 14, 2021

| darkpatterns.org | Dec 14, 2021

Verizon's tracking feature is opt out, so customers will be tracked without their knowledge.

Airtable ID

521

This is a #privacy nightmare and an utter disgrace. @Verizon you are a pipe to the internet and that is all. I am appalled you would think you have the right to track and monetize my activity.

| Dec 14, 2021

| Burley | Dec 14, 2021

Ebay's mandatory marketing emails

Airtable ID

518

If you register with http://ebay.co.uk using the "sign in with google" feature, you get automatically opted in to marketing emails.

| Dec 13, 2021

| Ebay | Dec 13, 2021

Intersport.de uses fake "X visitors are looking at this product right now" component.

Airtable ID

514

On the intersport.de website, a random number generator was used to fake live consumer interest on product listing pages

| Jul 04, 2021

| darkpatterns | Jul 04, 2021

Docker Hub has a delay when users opt out of tracking, and no delay when users opt.

Airtable ID

513

"ummmm @Docker Hub cookies preferences take 20 seconds to be processed.. is this a @TrustArc technical challenge or a dark pattern? #darkpatterns"

| Jul 01, 2021

| BogdanCovrig | Jul 01, 2021

Pitchbook.com provides users no way to opt out of cookies.

Airtable ID

512

Despite this being a legal requirement in various legal jurisdictions, pitchbook.com forces users to "consent" to cookies if they wish to enter the website.

| Jul 01, 2021

| ThatDesignFeel | Jul 01, 2021

Akismet uses a random number generator to show a fake live counter on their home page.

Airtable ID

511

A random number is added to the true count of "spam comments blocked to date" to simulate a live counter

| Jun 30, 2021

| OnarAlili | Jun 30, 2021

Robinhood to pay $70 million fine after causing ‘widespread and significant harm’ to customers.

Airtable ID

510

"[...] customers received false or misleading information from Robinhood on a variety of issues, including how much money customers had in their accounts, whether they could place trades on margin and more."

| Jun 30, 2021

| Alicia Adamczyk | Jun 30, 2021

Dark Patterns in Google Ads.

Airtable ID

505

Google has recently rebranded its Adwords advertising platform to Google Ads. Together with the new name, the interface also got a big overhaul. And as someone who spends many hours of every day on the platform, I can’t say I’m happy with the results.

| Jun 12, 2021

| Dennis | Jun 12, 2021

The New Yorker sends a fake "final demand" letter to trick users into resubscribing.

Airtable ID

508

The letter reads "statement of account" "FINAL NOTICE" except it's just an invitation to renew a subscription that would otherwise expire.

| Jun 28, 2021

| joelanman | Jun 28, 2021

Linkedin limits user choice to drive engagement.

Airtable ID

507

Linkedin asks the user a yes/no question but instead of allowing the user to answer "no", the button reads "No, show me more"

| Jun 28, 2021

| SimonGabriel | Jun 28, 2021

Ex-reddit engineering manager admits to the dark patterns they built while working there.

Airtable ID

506

“Yes, power users complain—and still continue using the site—but the casual user does not. These dark patterns have been normalized on other websites. These practices are done because it works”

| Jun 26, 2021

| Wting | Jun 26, 2021

Unknown: Confirmshaming.

Airtable ID

503

"No, I don't like savings"

| Mar 14, 2021

| Steve_Bromley | Mar 14, 2021

Windows: Edge promotion.

Airtable ID

501

Wow, the dark patterns in Windows to keep you on Edge are quite something. Search bing for Chrome leads to huge banner promo for Edge. Changing the default browser pops up promo for Edge.

| Mar 11, 2021

| cramforce | Mar 11, 2021

Checking in on Fast.

Airtable ID

502

For those of you that don’t know, Fast is a one-click and login checkout tool. To date, they’ve been primarily focused on ecommerce sites which puts them up against the likes of Shop Pay, Apple Pay and other simple purchase solutions...

| Mar 12, 2021

| Chris Frantz | Mar 12, 2021

Humble: placement of 'Add to Cart' button.

Airtable ID

500

Really disappointed in @humble for this UI design. The "add to cart" button adds a monthly subscription but is strategically placed to make users believe it will just get them the bundle instead. Not cool, @humble. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

| Mar 11, 2021

| Metallion98 | Mar 11, 2021

T-Mobile will sell your web-usage data to advertisers unless you opt out.

Airtable ID

498

Data sales begin April 26 unless you opt out; T-Mobile claims it'll be anonymous.

| Mar 09, 2021

| Jon Brodkin | Mar 09, 2021

Unknown: cancelling subscription.

Airtable ID

496

This is how the software company does its best to raise the threshold for purchasing a cloud service. You can’t get out of the contract without talking to the “customer success team”.

| Mar 09, 2021

| Noste | Mar 09, 2021

Figma: Hidden fees & pricing model.

Airtable ID

497

Hey @figmadesign, could you please tell people that they're being charged extra money if they submit this form with the "can edit" option? And maybe explain your pricing model INSIDE the app?

| Mar 09, 2021

| greg00r | Mar 09, 2021

Talkspace, Headspace and Betterhelp: "data brokers".

Airtable ID

495

Yeah, unfortunately @talkspace @Headspace and @betterhelp are not therapy providers — they are data brokers mining your most intimate conversations & reselling them to 3rd parties incl. advertisers. You should not use them under any circumstances.

| Mar 09, 2021

| nandoodles | Mar 09, 2021

Unknown: preferences opt-out.

Airtable ID

492

Over 680 trackers and options for one webpage. "Accept all" or open each single item from a dropdown to opt-out. This is insane.

| Mar 05, 2021

| lowresolution | Mar 05, 2021

Jumbo app: hidden skip button.

Airtable ID

494

Look at this dark pattern bullshit. Finding the skip button isn't supposed to be a game.

| Mar 08, 2021

| dankim | Mar 08, 2021

Confluent: Free credits.

Airtable ID

493

Received a surprise bill of $700+ USD from @confluentinc I believe I got this bill due to dark patterns in UX and I think Confluent can do *much better* to treat their customers right.

| Mar 07, 2021

| bartekci | Mar 07, 2021

LinkedIn: accessing messages.

Airtable ID

491

When engagement metrics drive the decision. On the left, Twitter’s email with the direct message text included. On the right, LinkedIn’s email forcing me to open the app to see the message. Drives me Bananas every time!

| Mar 04, 2021

| lil_dill | Mar 04, 2021

Xiaomi phones: Data collection.

Airtable ID

488

When turning off data collection on Xiaomi phones, you need to turn off every single system app and in between you need to wait 10 seconds.

| Mar 03, 2021

| InvisibleBryan | Mar 03, 2021

New York Times: cancel subscription.

Airtable ID

483

New York Times makes it intentionally difficult and time consuming to cancel subscription. #forcedcontinuance i finally had to cancel my credit card after trying on chat 3 times, being made to wait and "dropped service". For Shame

| Mar 01, 2021

| martylafl | Mar 01, 2021

Asana: Per-seat pricing.

Airtable ID

486

Is there any other well known SaaS company besides @asana that charges per-seat pricing but uses this dark pattern

| Mar 02, 2021

| JeremyWeir | Mar 02, 2021

Zipcar: subscription plans.

Airtable ID

485

What's the difference between Zipcar's $7, $8, and $10 plans?

| Mar 02, 2021

| darkpatterns | Mar 02, 2021

Samsung: Marketing information settings.

Airtable ID

484

Samsung's stock health app now showing ads on a friend's Samsung S9 phone, which he bought for hundreds of €.

| Mar 01, 2021

| WolfieChristl | Mar 01, 2021

EPIC Files D.C. Consumer Protection Complaint Against Amazon Over Unfair and Deceptive User Interface

Airtable ID

482

EPIC has filed a complaint with the D.C. Attorney General alleging that Amazon unlawfully employs manipulative "dark patterns" in the Amazon Prime subscription cancellation process.

| Feb 28, 2021

| | Feb 28, 2021

Unknown: cookie permissions menu.

Airtable ID

481

This is the worst cookie permissions menu I've seen. You can't tell what is turned on and what is off. The default when the menu opens up is the top three, with off in gray. When you click on off, you see both off and on without a gray filter. So is this on or off?

| Feb 26, 2021

| KimZetter | Feb 26, 2021

Can Clubhouse Move Fast Without Breaking Things?

Airtable ID

480

The 11-month old audio social network is compelling. It also has some very grown-up problems.

| Feb 25, 2021

| Kevin Roose | Feb 25, 2021

Quartz: subscription details.

Airtable ID

479

so quartz won't even tell you how much it charges for a subscription unless you give it your email, which automatically subscribes you to a newsletter

| Feb 25, 2021

| juliacarriew | Feb 25, 2021

Orthofeet.com: Low stock message.

Airtable ID

477

Low-stock Message on http://orthofeet.com. The message does not disclose the quantity in stock to users and appears for all products on the website.

| Feb 21, 2021

| Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

6pm.com: Low-stock message.

Airtable ID

476

Low-stock Message on http://6pm.com. Choosing product options shows Only 3 left in stock. The out-of-stock message makes it always seem that the item just sold out.

| Feb 21, 2021

| Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

Spanx: Testimonials.

Airtable ID

475

Testimonials on http://spanx.com. The website does not disclose how these were sourced, or whether they were submitted by actual customers.

| Feb 21, 2021

| Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

JC Penney: Activity Notification.

Airtable ID

474

Activity Notification on http://jcpenney.com highlighting the number of people who viewed the product in the last day.

| Feb 21, 2021

| Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

Thredup.com: Activity Notification.

Airtable ID

473

Activity Notification on http://thredup.com highlighting the names and locations of those who purchased the product. The message always signals sold products as "just saved", regardless of the real recency.

| Feb 21, 2021

| Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

Top Coat: Pressured selling.

Airtable ID

472

Pressured Selling on http://topcoat.store. On adding a product to cart, a popup appears asking the user to upgrade their purchase.

| Feb 21, 2021

| Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

Microsoft interrupts users during Windows boot sequence to nudge them to switch to Microsoft Edge web browser.

Airtable ID

458

Despite the user already having chosen their preferred web browser and search engine, Microsoft forces users to consider switching to Edge and Bing. If the user is not paying attention, they may mistakenly opt in to this change.

| Feb 15, 2021

| KimbleyIT | Feb 15, 2021

Leesa.com: Countdown Timer.

Airtable ID

467

Countdown Timer in a popup displayed on http://leesa.com. In this instance, the stated offer is valid even after the half hour long timer expires.

| Feb 21, 2021

| Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

New Balance: opt-out option.

Airtable ID

471

Trick Questions on http://newbalance.co.uk. Normally, checkboxes are designed to be ticked to opt in. In this case however, the user is required to tick to opt out.

| Feb 21, 2021

| Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

Radioshack: confirmshaming.

Airtable ID

469

Confirmshaming on http://radioshack.com. The option to dismiss the popup is framed to shame the user into avoiding it.

| Feb 21, 2021

| Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

Greenfingers: opt-out option.

Airtable ID

470

Visual Interference on http://greenfingers.com. The opt-out option is grayed out to indicate it is disabled or cannot be clicked, when it can.

| Feb 21, 2021

| Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

Samsung.com: Limited Time.

Airtable ID

468

Limited Time on http://samsung.com. The website states that the deal is "Limited Time Only" without disclosing the deal's deadline.

| Feb 21, 2021

| Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

Justfab.com: Countdown timer.

Airtable ID

466

Countdown Timer on http://justfab.com. In this instance, the stated offer is valid even after the hour long timer expires.

| Feb 21, 2021

| Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

WSJwine: Hidden Subscription.

Airtable ID

465

Hidden Subscription on http://wsjwine.com. Selecting the WSJwine Advantage option does not reveal the recurring subscription of $89 unless "Learn More" is clicked on.

| Feb 21, 2021

| Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

Ross-simons.com: VIP Rewards Club.

Airtable ID

464

Hidden Subscription on http://ross-simons.com. Joining the VIP Rewards Club does not reveal the recurring subscription of $95 unless "Terms and conditions" is clicked on.

| Feb 21, 2021

| Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

GameStop Hearing Exposes a Sick Business Model Destined to Exacerbate Wealth Inequality in America

Airtable ID

463

An exchange between Congresswoman Cindy Axne of Iowa and CEO of Robinhood Vlad Tenev "opened a window into a sick business model on Wall Street that is pumping out billionaires like Citadel’s Ken Griffin while seducing young people with the gamification of trading."

| Feb 19, 2021

| Pam Martens and Russ Martens | Feb 19, 2021

When FOMO Trumps Privacy: The Clubhouse Edition

Airtable ID

462

Clubhouse, the new audio-based social media app... is gaining lots of attention. Part of its popularity comes from it being pegged as the next social media giant. Beyond the hype, its epic product privacy failures are what warrants scrutiny.

| Feb 19, 2021

| Lourdes Turrecha | Feb 19, 2021

Before buying a NYT subscription, here's what it'll take to cancel it .

Airtable ID

461

Transcript of a 17 minute chat log of a consumer trying to cancel their New York Times subscription.

| Feb 18, 2021

| jandll | Feb 18, 2021

Fake countdown timer on Fabletics.com.

Airtable ID

460

"Great limited time deal on http://fabletics.com @Fabletics. Oh wait... It's a #darkpattern. The countdown timer resets every time you refresh the page."

| Feb 18, 2021

| constanta_rosca | Feb 18, 2021

Clubhouse app makes it possible for users to pause notifications but not stop them completely from the in-app settings.

Airtable ID

459

Although it is possible to stop notifications via the iOS operating system settings, if the user goes into the settings area of the clubhouse app, they are only able to temporarily pause notifications.

| Feb 15, 2021

| wichsp | Feb 15, 2021

CONFUSING BY DESIGN: A Data Protection Law Analysis of TikTok’s Privacy Policy

Airtable ID

452

This report argues that TikTok does not comply with the GDPR in a number of ways.

| Feb 01, 2021

| Dr. J. Ausloos & Dr. V. Verdoodt | Feb 01, 2021

Does ticking the boxes enable or disable data sharing and targeted ads?

Airtable ID

453

The meaning of a "tick" is not described (does it mean opt in, or opt out?). This ambiguity will drive higher opt-in rates.

| Feb 02, 2021

| airavn | Feb 02, 2021

Graze UK food brand uses extremely low contrast text to show calorie information.

Airtable ID

448

This high calorie snack is packaged in a deceptive manner by prominently showing a calorie count that appears to be for the whole packet, but upon closer inspection is just for a small portion. Further information is hidden using illegible text.

| Jan 28, 2021

| darkpatterns | Jan 28, 2021

Lyft priority mode gives drivers extra work but comes with a 10% pay cut.

Airtable ID

445

"I learned about a new feature Lyft quietly rolled out a few months ago. Drivers hate it. It's called priority mode and Lyft pitches it to drivers as a way to "stay busy... We'll prioritize you over other drivers." But it comes with a 10% pay cut."

| Jan 22, 2021

| darakerr | Jan 22, 2021

Trello hides the link to sign up without a premium subscription .

Airtable ID

446

"...this one nearly got me. @trello really wants you to use their free trial... the start without is juuust below your view."

| Jan 27, 2021

| ohhellohellohii | Jan 27, 2021

Google Maps now requires WiFi scanning to use navigation

Airtable ID

551

"Google has now drawn a line in the sand. Give us all your local SSIDs, local bluetooth connections, with likely even more detail, or they now refuse to allow you to use Maps to navigate."

Feb 01, 2022

| Feb 01, 2022

Dark Patterns in Google Ads.

Airtable ID

505

Google has recently rebranded its Adwords advertising platform to Google Ads. Together with the new name, the interface also got a big overhaul. And as someone who spends many hours of every day on the platform, I can’t say I’m happy with the results.

Jun 12, 2021

Dennis | Jun 12, 2021

Youtube uses a hidden opt-out button in a full-screen premium upsell.

Airtable ID

443

"Getting desperate now? This came up when I opened the @YouTube app. I don't want premium. I don't want a trial. I've said that at least a hundred times so far, now this without even a close button. Talk about @darkpatterns

Jan 20, 2021

Bigolslabomeat | Jan 20, 2021

Google: Enabling YouTube history.

Airtable ID

435

Google appear to be tricking the user into 'enabling YouTube history' (in this case it had been disabled) so that the user can then 'choose an auto-delete option' for that history.

Dec 28, 2020

croppyboi | Dec 28, 2020

Google Calendar: Auto-adding Google Meet when others are added to an event.

Airtable ID

426

Google Calendar has always had a "Add Google Meet / Google Hangout" option on calendar meeting invites, but recently auto-adds the Google Meet if you add others to the calendar invite, without any notification.

Nov 16, 2020

osiris679 | Nov 16, 2020

Google are loading ads a few seconds after the search results have loaded, making you accidentally click them.

Airtable ID

380

Although it's arguable whether this was on purpose or not, it is likely to have driven ad revenue from accidental clicks.

Jun 08, 2020

Brumcar | Jun 08, 2020

Dark patterns identified in the consent-obtaining mechanisms of Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft

Airtable ID

372

Qualitative evaluation of the consent-obtaining mechanisms implemented and used by the five big tech companies, i.e. Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft (GAFAM)

Apr 15, 2020

SoheilHuman | Apr 15, 2020

Google: consent preferences.

Airtable ID

338

Google hiding the ability to say no thanks only if you scroll down. Not immediately obvious that you can

Nov 09, 2019

glen_george | Nov 09, 2019

Google News: ad-blockers & privacy tools.

Airtable ID

292

Today @googlenews joined the ranks of "Sites that don't want you to use ad-blockers/privacy tools & just tell you that you're offline if you do" (along with @TheAtlantic) I'm fine with "Turn off your ad-blocker to use this site," less so with lying.

Aug 16, 2019

jessamyn | Aug 16, 2019

YouTube Premium: confusing subscribe pop-up.

Airtable ID

286

Intentionally confusing buttons from “don’t be evil” @google @YouTube here.

Jul 30, 2019

pauledevans | Jul 30, 2019

Google Backup and Sync: "weasel wording" from the app preferences.

Airtable ID

266

A perfect example of "weasel wording" from the Google Backup and Sync app preferences.

Jun 14, 2019

harrybr | Jun 14, 2019

When manipulation is the digital business model

Airtable ID

248

Ever looked for an online cancel button and struggled to find it? ‘Dark patterns’ may be to blame (Opinion feature in FT Magazine)

May 01, 2019

Madhumita Murgia | May 01, 2019

Every Step You Take

Airtable ID

201

Report by the Norwegian Consumer Council showing how Google uses dark patterns to manipulate users into enabling location tracking. The NCC filed a GDPR complaint against Google based on the report.

Nov 27, 2018

Norwegian Consumer Council | Nov 27, 2018

Facebook and Google accused of using 'dark patterns' to mislead users into sharing personal data

Airtable ID

184

News article responding to the Norwegian Consumer Council's "Deceived by Design" report.

Jun 28, 2018

Binder, Matt | Jun 28, 2018

Deceived By Design

Airtable ID

183

A fantastic report by the Norwegian Consumer Council that explains how tech companies use dark patterns to discourage us from exercising our rights to privacy. Facebook, Google and Windows 10 are named and shamed.

Jun 27, 2018

Author unknown | Jun 27, 2018

Google Nexus 5: Login with Gmail.

Airtable ID

176

You can set up the phone without a google account connected, but it doesn't show that as an option until you fail to log in 3 times.

Apr 09, 2018

NoPunkProphet | Apr 09, 2018

Google: Ads Disguised as Search Results.

Airtable ID

161

The first four results of a google search for “flowers” are ads disguised as search results. They have a small green tag that identifies them as ads, but many users will not notice this and click on the ads anyways.

Aug 01, 2017

Gray et al. | Aug 01, 2017

Google Location Services: Spam.

Airtable ID

54

Repeatedly asks user for permission to use location data, only allowing “don’t show me again” to be selected if permission is given, pestering the user until they give permission.

Mar 09, 2015

Gray et al. | Mar 09, 2015

Luton airport, after prepaying for parking

Airtable ID

605

Luton airport website shows a disguised ad. It appears to be a "continue" button leading on from the checkout, but in fact tricks users into subscribing to a totally unrelated service.

Aug 21, 2022

Socially Distant David | Aug 21, 2022

Skype tricks users into uploading their address book - via a dialog box that has no visible option to refuse.

Airtable ID

609

Noticed my Skype client on the iPad started doing this sneaky crap where when you open the app it presents a prompt that asks you to approve sharing all your contacts w/ Skype. And there's no visible way to say "no."

Aug 21, 2022

briankrebs | Aug 21, 2022

Nice dark pattern @treatwellnl! That didn't work.

Airtable ID

606

Treatwell uses trick questions - alternating sentiment for its checkbox labels - to trick users into agreeing to emails or tracking.

Aug 21, 2022

Riccardo | Aug 21, 2022

When a user uses duolingo on a series of consecutive days, this is called a streak. If users miss a day, they can pay to 'repair' it.

Airtable ID

600

Wow, didn't know you could pay to continue your broken streak on Duolingo. Not sure how I feel about this.

Aug 21, 2022

Paras Chopra | Aug 21, 2022

“By cancelling, I acknowledge: HP Instant Ink subscription cartridges will no longer work after my final billing cycle ends, even if they are already installed in my printer.”

Airtable ID

603

"Because instant ink bills at the end of each billing cycle, I will receive one final bill for $11.99, plus charges for any additional pages printed. I will lose rollover pages associated with my account."

Aug 21, 2022

AssholeDesign | Aug 21, 2022

Duolingo's A/B testing use is causing users to flock to its premium model, now at 3.3 million accounts

Airtable ID

599

'"We use A/B testing to optimize nearly everything related to our products, from new gamification features, to our learning content, to our Super [Duolingo] purchase page design, and even to the notifications that learners receive as reminders to do their lessons," said von Ahn'

Aug 21, 2022

Pittsburgh Inno | Aug 21, 2022

Moonpig email hides the unsubscribe link using black text on a black background.

Airtable ID

597

"How nice of you to hide the unsubscribe link "

Aug 21, 2022

Ben | Aug 21, 2022

Sedo's deceptive cookie UI involves an "Accept all" button where the user would expect a "Continue" button.

Airtable ID

595

Nice cookie selection dark pattern from Sedo to start the morning.

Aug 21, 2022

Harry Bailey | Aug 21, 2022

When Tech Companies Do It, The NY Times Calls It ‘Dark Patterns,’; When The NY Times Does It, It’s Called ‘Being Smart'

Airtable ID

589

"There’s a spectrum of behavior — some of which is just smart business and tech practices, and some of which is more nefarious. But using the term “dark patterns” to broadly describe anything that we don’t understand, or can’t see that is designed to get you to do something… becomes problematic pretty quickly. "

Aug 21, 2022

Techdirt | Aug 21, 2022

Capitalone uses confirmshaming to encourage users to install a browser extension that tracks them extensively.

Airtable ID

586

Sign up for CapitalOne Shopping and you get Confirmshaming and Privacy Zuckering. BTW thanks to Safari for making the data you’re trying to harvest so very obvious.

Aug 21, 2022

Lisa Woodley | Aug 21, 2022

Patreon uses a deceptive UI in its cookie dialog.

Airtable ID

582

"Such unclear langage is probably not GDPR compliant. What is really happening when I click on “Reject All” and then “Accept”? I hope it’s not a dark pattern to force me to “accept” your cookies."

Aug 06, 2022

Olivier Simard-Casanova | Aug 06, 2022

Adobe interupts users with large pop-up ad they press "Save" in Adobe illustrator, a product they have already paid for.

Airtable ID

579

"It's easy to dunk on Adobe software quality, I know. But I hit "Save" in Illustrator and got this hilariously huge cloudsell."

Aug 06, 2022

Cabel | Aug 06, 2022

Ask HN: What's up with these DoorDash dark patterns?

Airtable ID

578

"you can't actually drill into and read reviews which makes assessing the actual quality of the restaurant difficult. And I've found that restaurants will run their own "ghost kitchen" shadow restaurant out of their main (poorly rated) location."

Aug 04, 2022

flycatcha | Aug 04, 2022

AT&T alternates the meaning of on and off in their email preferences page.

Airtable ID

571

"A fun dark pattern from ATT: you can turn specific marketing emails OFF or you can turn Unsubscribe ON."

Aug 06, 2022

Matt Hodges | Aug 06, 2022

'The Farmers Dog' requires users to enter many pages of personal data before they can view prices.

Airtable ID

569

"this is a gross dark pattern from ⁦@thefarmersdog⁩. you have to affirm the marketing material before you’re allowed to see a price."

Aug 06, 2022

Eric Jacobs | Aug 06, 2022

Boston Globe subscriptions cannot be cancelled in the first 24 hours of creating them.

Airtable ID

567

"Signed up for the @BostonGlobe to read an article. Article was 'meh', so wanted to cancel my sub. Cannot do it online, have to call. The agent tells me: 'You can't cancel the first 24 hours because you'll only show up in the system after...'"

Jul 28, 2022

Gergely Orosz | Jul 28, 2022

Expresso requires users to enter their name and email address before they can unsubscribe from emails.

Airtable ID

564

"boa página para quem clica em "editar subscrição" no fim do vosso email não solicitado porque tem outras newsletters que quer manter, @expresso" (Portuguese language example).

Jul 29, 2022

Henrique Vasconcelos | Jul 29, 2022

When inviting a new member, Slack does not show the price or the party that will be charged.

Airtable ID

562

"Scenario: Startup wants to invite contractor (who isn't on Slack) as a single-channel guest to their team. Slack shows Startup this modal, most people pick the first one (that's the correct selection) But... this forces the contractor to pay $7/mo"

Jul 30, 2022

| Jul 30, 2022

BeyondMenu uses fake reservation confirmation in an email campaign to drive open rates

Airtable ID

561

BeyondMenu used the email subject line "Your Friday reservation is confirmed..." - which was likely to alarm users, none of whom had made a reservation. When opened, the email reads "Your reservation is confirmed with your couch... Order now"

Jul 30, 2022

Blinkplays | Jul 30, 2022

Thanks to regulatory action by the ACM, Wish.com no longer allows fake discounts or personalised pricing in the Netherlands

Airtable ID

560

Prices on Wish were personalised, based on location and purchase behaviour. The platform failed to inform its customers about this. Following the ACM's demands the company has decided to end its price personalisation in the EU.

Jul 30, 2022

Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) | Jul 30, 2022

HP requires users to create an online account in order to use offline features.

Airtable ID

558

"HP at it again: Have to create an account to scan a document."

Jul 30, 2022

SanktusAngus | Jul 30, 2022

Gumtree UK makes it very difficult to opt out of ad tracking.

Airtable ID

557

Gumtree UK provides a "one click" opt-in for ad tracking, yet requires dozens of clicks to opt out.

Jul 31, 2022

matt sephton | Jul 31, 2022

Reddit manipulates users into installing mobile app

Airtable ID

540

Reddit is famous for their relentless interruptions to their web experience in pushing users towards their native mobile app. Here they experiment with a "cheeky" nudge about cats and dogs.

Jan 18, 2022

Szprinktrap | Jan 18, 2022

Steinberg requires users to subscribe to a newsletter before using one of their products

Airtable ID

539

This modal dialog box requires users to subscribe to a mandatory newsletter.

Jan 17, 2022

agirres | Jan 17, 2022

Norton and Avast install crytpominer software without user consent

Airtable ID

535

"Norton360 isn't the only antivirus product installing cryptominers. Avira, a "free" antivirus product w/ > 500M users, recently introduced users to Avira Crypto. Avira is now owned by NortonLifeLock, which also just bought Avast antivirus (500M users)"

Jan 08, 2022

Brian Krebs | Jan 08, 2022

Venmo's payment protection feature allows the buyer to add a fee that the sender pays - without their consent

Airtable ID

536

"Venmo has a feature where the person that you’ve requested payment from can opt into payment protection, which adds a 1.9% fee to the transaction that the requestor pays without any sort of consent or control if opted into. It’s a dark pattern that I can’t believe is legal."

Jan 10, 2022

witchoria | Jan 10, 2022

NYT subscription takes much longer to cancel than to create.

Airtable ID

534

Cancelling this New York Times subscription took about 8 minutes. Most of the time was just waiting for the CS rep to respond in live chat.

Jan 07, 2022

Darkpatterns.org | Jan 07, 2022

Barclays bank "Tick the box if you don't want us to tell you about offers..."

Airtable ID

529

"Now I know why I'm getting marketing material posted to me when I thought I'd turned this off"

Jan 06, 2022

kimeshan_ | Jan 06, 2022

Twitter's "Install App" modal dialogue prompt on top of all the content is a form of user abuse

Airtable ID

526

"The company should know by now, based on the dozens of previous rejections: I'm not interested!"

Jan 01, 2022

Metadat | Jan 01, 2022

Verizon's tracking feature is opt out, so customers will be tracked without their knowledge.

Airtable ID

521

This is a #privacy nightmare and an utter disgrace. @Verizon you are a pipe to the internet and that is all. I am appalled you would think you have the right to track and monetize my activity.

Dec 14, 2021

Burley | Dec 14, 2021

Ebay's mandatory marketing emails

Airtable ID

518

If you register with http://ebay.co.uk using the "sign in with google" feature, you get automatically opted in to marketing emails.

Dec 13, 2021

Ebay | Dec 13, 2021

Intersport.de uses fake "X visitors are looking at this product right now" component.

Airtable ID

514

On the intersport.de website, a random number generator was used to fake live consumer interest on product listing pages

Jul 04, 2021

darkpatterns | Jul 04, 2021

Docker Hub has a delay when users opt out of tracking, and no delay when users opt.

Airtable ID

513

"ummmm @Docker Hub cookies preferences take 20 seconds to be processed.. is this a @TrustArc technical challenge or a dark pattern? #darkpatterns"

Jul 01, 2021

BogdanCovrig | Jul 01, 2021

Pitchbook.com provides users no way to opt out of cookies.

Airtable ID

512

Despite this being a legal requirement in various legal jurisdictions, pitchbook.com forces users to "consent" to cookies if they wish to enter the website.

Jul 01, 2021

ThatDesignFeel | Jul 01, 2021

Akismet uses a random number generator to show a fake live counter on their home page.

Airtable ID

511

A random number is added to the true count of "spam comments blocked to date" to simulate a live counter

Jun 30, 2021

OnarAlili | Jun 30, 2021

Robinhood to pay $70 million fine after causing ‘widespread and significant harm’ to customers.

Airtable ID

510

"[...] customers received false or misleading information from Robinhood on a variety of issues, including how much money customers had in their accounts, whether they could place trades on margin and more."

Jun 30, 2021

Alicia Adamczyk | Jun 30, 2021

The New Yorker sends a fake "final demand" letter to trick users into resubscribing.

Airtable ID

508

The letter reads "statement of account" "FINAL NOTICE" except it's just an invitation to renew a subscription that would otherwise expire.

Jun 28, 2021

joelanman | Jun 28, 2021

Ex-reddit engineering manager admits to the dark patterns they built while working there.

Airtable ID

506

“Yes, power users complain—and still continue using the site—but the casual user does not. These dark patterns have been normalized on other websites. These practices are done because it works”

Jun 26, 2021

Wting | Jun 26, 2021

Checking in on Fast.

Airtable ID

502

For those of you that don’t know, Fast is a one-click and login checkout tool. To date, they’ve been primarily focused on ecommerce sites which puts them up against the likes of Shop Pay, Apple Pay and other simple purchase solutions...

Mar 12, 2021

Chris Frantz | Mar 12, 2021

Humble: placement of 'Add to Cart' button.

Airtable ID

500

Really disappointed in @humble for this UI design. The "add to cart" button adds a monthly subscription but is strategically placed to make users believe it will just get them the bundle instead. Not cool, @humble. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Mar 11, 2021

Metallion98 | Mar 11, 2021

T-Mobile will sell your web-usage data to advertisers unless you opt out.

Airtable ID

498

Data sales begin April 26 unless you opt out; T-Mobile claims it'll be anonymous.

Mar 09, 2021

Jon Brodkin | Mar 09, 2021

Figma: Hidden fees & pricing model.

Airtable ID

497

Hey @figmadesign, could you please tell people that they're being charged extra money if they submit this form with the "can edit" option? And maybe explain your pricing model INSIDE the app?

Mar 09, 2021

greg00r | Mar 09, 2021

Talkspace, Headspace and Betterhelp: "data brokers".

Airtable ID

495

Yeah, unfortunately @talkspace @Headspace and @betterhelp are not therapy providers — they are data brokers mining your most intimate conversations & reselling them to 3rd parties incl. advertisers. You should not use them under any circumstances.

Mar 09, 2021

nandoodles | Mar 09, 2021

Jumbo app: hidden skip button.

Airtable ID

494

Look at this dark pattern bullshit. Finding the skip button isn't supposed to be a game.

Mar 08, 2021

dankim | Mar 08, 2021

Confluent: Free credits.

Airtable ID

493

Received a surprise bill of $700+ USD from @confluentinc I believe I got this bill due to dark patterns in UX and I think Confluent can do *much better* to treat their customers right.

Mar 07, 2021

bartekci | Mar 07, 2021

Xiaomi phones: Data collection.

Airtable ID

488

When turning off data collection on Xiaomi phones, you need to turn off every single system app and in between you need to wait 10 seconds.

Mar 03, 2021

InvisibleBryan | Mar 03, 2021

New York Times: cancel subscription.

Airtable ID

483

New York Times makes it intentionally difficult and time consuming to cancel subscription. #forcedcontinuance i finally had to cancel my credit card after trying on chat 3 times, being made to wait and "dropped service". For Shame

Mar 01, 2021

martylafl | Mar 01, 2021

Asana: Per-seat pricing.

Airtable ID

486

Is there any other well known SaaS company besides @asana that charges per-seat pricing but uses this dark pattern

Mar 02, 2021

JeremyWeir | Mar 02, 2021

Zipcar: subscription plans.

Airtable ID

485

What's the difference between Zipcar's $7, $8, and $10 plans?

Mar 02, 2021

darkpatterns | Mar 02, 2021

Samsung: Marketing information settings.

Airtable ID

484

Samsung's stock health app now showing ads on a friend's Samsung S9 phone, which he bought for hundreds of €.

Mar 01, 2021

WolfieChristl | Mar 01, 2021

Can Clubhouse Move Fast Without Breaking Things?

Airtable ID

480

The 11-month old audio social network is compelling. It also has some very grown-up problems.

Feb 25, 2021

Kevin Roose | Feb 25, 2021

Quartz: subscription details.

Airtable ID

479

so quartz won't even tell you how much it charges for a subscription unless you give it your email, which automatically subscribes you to a newsletter

Feb 25, 2021

juliacarriew | Feb 25, 2021

Orthofeet.com: Low stock message.

Airtable ID

477

Low-stock Message on http://orthofeet.com. The message does not disclose the quantity in stock to users and appears for all products on the website.

Feb 21, 2021

Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

6pm.com: Low-stock message.

Airtable ID

476

Low-stock Message on http://6pm.com. Choosing product options shows Only 3 left in stock. The out-of-stock message makes it always seem that the item just sold out.

Feb 21, 2021

Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

Spanx: Testimonials.

Airtable ID

475

Testimonials on http://spanx.com. The website does not disclose how these were sourced, or whether they were submitted by actual customers.

Feb 21, 2021

Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

JC Penney: Activity Notification.

Airtable ID

474

Activity Notification on http://jcpenney.com highlighting the number of people who viewed the product in the last day.

Feb 21, 2021

Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

Thredup.com: Activity Notification.

Airtable ID

473

Activity Notification on http://thredup.com highlighting the names and locations of those who purchased the product. The message always signals sold products as "just saved", regardless of the real recency.

Feb 21, 2021

Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

Top Coat: Pressured selling.

Airtable ID

472

Pressured Selling on http://topcoat.store. On adding a product to cart, a popup appears asking the user to upgrade their purchase.

Feb 21, 2021

Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

Leesa.com: Countdown Timer.

Airtable ID

467

Countdown Timer in a popup displayed on http://leesa.com. In this instance, the stated offer is valid even after the half hour long timer expires.

Feb 21, 2021

Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

New Balance: opt-out option.

Airtable ID

471

Trick Questions on http://newbalance.co.uk. Normally, checkboxes are designed to be ticked to opt in. In this case however, the user is required to tick to opt out.

Feb 21, 2021

Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

Radioshack: confirmshaming.

Airtable ID

469

Confirmshaming on http://radioshack.com. The option to dismiss the popup is framed to shame the user into avoiding it.

Feb 21, 2021

Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

Greenfingers: opt-out option.

Airtable ID

470

Visual Interference on http://greenfingers.com. The opt-out option is grayed out to indicate it is disabled or cannot be clicked, when it can.

Feb 21, 2021

Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

Samsung.com: Limited Time.

Airtable ID

468

Limited Time on http://samsung.com. The website states that the deal is "Limited Time Only" without disclosing the deal's deadline.

Feb 21, 2021

Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

Justfab.com: Countdown timer.

Airtable ID

466

Countdown Timer on http://justfab.com. In this instance, the stated offer is valid even after the hour long timer expires.

Feb 21, 2021

Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

WSJwine: Hidden Subscription.

Airtable ID

465

Hidden Subscription on http://wsjwine.com. Selecting the WSJwine Advantage option does not reveal the recurring subscription of $89 unless "Learn More" is clicked on.

Feb 21, 2021

Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

Ross-simons.com: VIP Rewards Club.

Airtable ID

464

Hidden Subscription on http://ross-simons.com. Joining the VIP Rewards Club does not reveal the recurring subscription of $95 unless "Terms and conditions" is clicked on.

Feb 21, 2021

Mathur, Arunesh; Acar, Gunes; Friedman, Michael J.; Lucherini, Elena; Mayer, Jonathan; Chetty, Marshini; Narayanan, Arvind | Feb 21, 2021

GameStop Hearing Exposes a Sick Business Model Destined to Exacerbate Wealth Inequality in America

Airtable ID

463

An exchange between Congresswoman Cindy Axne of Iowa and CEO of Robinhood Vlad Tenev "opened a window into a sick business model on Wall Street that is pumping out billionaires like Citadel’s Ken Griffin while seducing young people with the gamification of trading."

Feb 19, 2021

Pam Martens and Russ Martens | Feb 19, 2021

When FOMO Trumps Privacy: The Clubhouse Edition

Airtable ID

462

Clubhouse, the new audio-based social media app... is gaining lots of attention. Part of its popularity comes from it being pegged as the next social media giant. Beyond the hype, its epic product privacy failures are what warrants scrutiny.

Feb 19, 2021

Lourdes Turrecha | Feb 19, 2021

Before buying a NYT subscription, here's what it'll take to cancel it .

Airtable ID

461

Transcript of a 17 minute chat log of a consumer trying to cancel their New York Times subscription.

Feb 18, 2021

jandll | Feb 18, 2021

Fake countdown timer on Fabletics.com.

Airtable ID

460

"Great limited time deal on http://fabletics.com @Fabletics. Oh wait... It's a #darkpattern. The countdown timer resets every time you refresh the page."

Feb 18, 2021

constanta_rosca | Feb 18, 2021

Clubhouse app makes it possible for users to pause notifications but not stop them completely from the in-app settings.

Airtable ID

459

Although it is possible to stop notifications via the iOS operating system settings, if the user goes into the settings area of the clubhouse app, they are only able to temporarily pause notifications.

Feb 15, 2021

wichsp | Feb 15, 2021

CONFUSING BY DESIGN: A Data Protection Law Analysis of TikTok’s Privacy Policy

Airtable ID

452

This report argues that TikTok does not comply with the GDPR in a number of ways.

Feb 01, 2021

Dr. J. Ausloos & Dr. V. Verdoodt | Feb 01, 2021

Does ticking the boxes enable or disable data sharing and targeted ads?

Airtable ID

453

The meaning of a "tick" is not described (does it mean opt in, or opt out?). This ambiguity will drive higher opt-in rates.

Feb 02, 2021

airavn | Feb 02, 2021

Graze UK food brand uses extremely low contrast text to show calorie information.

Airtable ID

448

This high calorie snack is packaged in a deceptive manner by prominently showing a calorie count that appears to be for the whole packet, but upon closer inspection is just for a small portion. Further information is hidden using illegible text.

Jan 28, 2021

darkpatterns | Jan 28, 2021

Lyft priority mode gives drivers extra work but comes with a 10% pay cut.

Airtable ID

445

"I learned about a new feature Lyft quietly rolled out a few months ago. Drivers hate it. It's called priority mode and Lyft pitches it to drivers as a way to "stay busy... We'll prioritize you over other drivers." But it comes with a 10% pay cut."

Jan 22, 2021

darakerr | Jan 22, 2021

Trello hides the link to sign up without a premium subscription .

Airtable ID

446

"...this one nearly got me. @trello really wants you to use their free trial... the start without is juuust below your view."

Jan 27, 2021

ohhellohellohii | Jan 27, 2021

Internations.org uses Roach Motel and Forced Continuity Dark Patterns.

Airtable ID

442

The German "expat community" website @Internationsorglures their members into automatically renewing membership subscription plans & charges their credit cards without prior notification for yearly membership fees. If an @Internationsorg member decides not willing to accept that the Albatross membership was automatically renewed, they force their #darkpatterns on them by hiding the "downgrade" & "delete profile" options from the user interface & threat their members with debt collectors.

Jan 17, 2021

KristinaVonK | Jan 17, 2021

The UPS Legal Agreement is hard to read, requring the user to scroll through the entire document with just 10 lines visible.

Airtable ID

439

This is a very long legal agreement that the user can only read 10 lines at a time, making it more likely for users to give up and proceed, unawares of the content of the document.

Jan 12, 2021

fonix232 | Jan 12, 2021

Netflix, HBO, YouTube and Amazon Prime: Missing stop buttons.

Airtable ID

438

The traditional square stop-button has been disappearing from media players across the board. This seems like a deliberate trend; a subtle tactic to keep you "captive" - don't present the user with any obvious option to stop watching and they will be less likely to think to.

Dec 30, 2020

mindplaydk | Dec 30, 2020

The Telegraph uses the term "Legitimate Interest" in which to hide the means to opt out of personalised ads and ad tracking.

Airtable ID

437

"Legitimate Interest sounds like "you say no, but we're making it legitimate to track you". So I don't consent but you still have a legitimate right to have relationship with my privacy? How does that work? 🤔"

Dec 30, 2020

PtitBen | Dec 30, 2020

Baremetrics make it very hard to cancel premium subscriptions.

Airtable ID

434

"Before you use, or subscribe to @Baremetrics, please make sure you read this. This happened today. I went to their app to try & unsubscribe because we feel that Stripe's own dashboard is good enough for us after they added reporting specifically.

Dec 22, 2020

cmdkhalilov | Dec 22, 2020

Peacock TV: Unsubscribe.

Airtable ID

429

When you try to find the unsubscribe button from peacock emails. Dark gray on a dark black background.

Nov 22, 2020

gtfohbitchass | Nov 22, 2020

Ikea's cookie agree button pops up right on top of the "go" button right before you click it.

Airtable ID

430

If the user attempts to click go, the cookie pop-up may appear directly below their cursor just as they are about to click, causing them to inadvertently opt in to tracking.

Nov 30, 2020

shadic108 | Nov 30, 2020

Oddballs: Promoting non-existent discount.

Airtable ID

432

Maybe don't say there's a chance to get a 25% discount when its literally impossible

Dec 07, 2020

Mr__Nitrogen | Dec 07, 2020

A fake "wheel of fortune" game of chance that is impossible to win on myoddballs.com

Airtable ID

431

"@myoddballs Maybe don't say there's a chance to get a 25% discount when its literally impossible"

Dec 07, 2020

Mr__Nitrogen | Dec 07, 2020

Marktplaats.nl: Unsolicited marketing emails.

Airtable ID

423

Marktplaats.nl saves your email and spams you even if you don’t finish registering for an account

Oct 31, 2020

Anon | Oct 31, 2020

Booking.com pretends that it has a working button for delete account.

Airtable ID

421

The account deletion process requires the user to check their email. This makes the process unnecessarily difficult.

Oct 26, 2020

Joliejule | Oct 26, 2020

Beekting: guidance for creating Dark Patterns.

Airtable ID

419

Beekting.com provides customers with instructions on how to create fake notifications that play on cognitive biases.

Oct 20, 2020

harrybr | Oct 20, 2020

Belvita Breakfast Golden Oats packaging shows misleading information about calories.

Airtable ID

417

Deceptive food packaging is everywhere. This packaging recommends that you eat 4 biscuits as part of a "balanced breakfast" but the calorie figures are for an 11.25g serving, which turns out to be just a single biscuit.

Oct 10, 2020

elocemearg | Oct 10, 2020

Psychology Today: Unsubscribe.

Airtable ID

415

Psychology Today website is a roach motel. You can't remove your credit card info, you can only change it. There is no way to stop the service through their website interface. Have to contact them to get it stopped.

Oct 07, 2020

bzipitidoo | Oct 07, 2020

FT.com: Cancelling subscription.

Airtable ID

413

FT.com, making it very easy to sign up for a monthly charge of 28 € instead of cancelling subscription which was my intended purpose.

Oct 05, 2020

buheeh | Oct 05, 2020

Tesla: Butt-dialed upgrades.

Airtable ID

414

Tesla owner says he butt-dialed a $4,280 Autopilot upgrade — and is still waiting on a refund. Dr. Ali Vaziri says he was charged for a $4,280 software upgrade for his Tesla without even being aware of opening the app. Other Tesla users have reported similar problems.

Oct 07, 2020

Lora Kolodny | Oct 07, 2020

Spectrum cable: Support chat.

Airtable ID

412

I'm pretty sure I observed a dark pattern with Spectrum cable's support chat. If I am right, they're trying to weed out people by making them wait as a sort of barrier to using chat.

Sep 29, 2020

adhd | Sep 29, 2020

When you opt out of cookies in wwe.com, it shows a processing screen which takes about a minute to complete. If you click 'accept', it is processed instantly .

Airtable ID

410

This website uses a privacy management tool called TrustArc which makes it much slower to opt out of tracking than to opt in.

Sep 21, 2020

Glassput | Sep 21, 2020

Strava: Flyby privacy settings.

Airtable ID

408

Running and cycling app Strava's Flyby privacy settings are automatically set to be shared with everyone. Thus users passing one another will be tagged in each other's runs, and able to access their full name, picture and a map of their running route.

Sep 14, 2020

MrAndrew | Sep 14, 2020

ABC Mouse: charging and renewing memberships without consent.

Airtable ID

405

Children’s Online Learning Program ABCmouse failed to disclose important information to consumers, leading many consumers to be renewed & charged for memberships without their consent

Sep 02, 2020

| Sep 02, 2020

Statement of Commissioner Rohit Chopra Regarding Dark Patterns in the Matter of Age of Learning, Inc. Commission File Number 1723186

Airtable ID

404

"At a time when many parents are looking for more opportunities for educational enrichment online, it is disappointing that services like ABCmouse have scammed millions of dollars from families through dark patterns, as alleged in the Commission’s complaint. By making it extremely difficult to cancel recurring subscription fees, ABCmouse engaged in conduct that was not only unethical, but also illegal."

Sep 02, 2020

Rohit Chopra | Sep 02, 2020

HBL: App issuing unwanted bank loans.

Airtable ID

403

A loan popup screen appears when a user logs in to Pakistani bank HBL's app. It features a picture, some text and Yes/No buttons to begin evaluation of your loan, all in English. This could lead to users who did not want a loan getting one and paying it back with 25-35% interest.

Sep 01, 2020

thoraoffbeat | Sep 01, 2020

StoriesOnBoard: subscription cancellations.

Airtable ID

402

StoriesOnBoard does not allow users to cancel their subscription without sending an email or starting a support chat.

Aug 27, 2020

afuerstenau | Aug 27, 2020

Wired: consent management platform.

Airtable ID

401

Wired's consent management platform shows unselected settings as having 'Objection applied'. A box to opt-in is labelled 'Remove objection'. Using the word 'objection' implies shaming the user for not having opted in.

Aug 22, 2020

1Br0wn | Aug 22, 2020