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.
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?
The 11-month old audio social network is compelling. It also has some very grown-up problems.
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
Countdown Timer on http://justfab.com. In this instance, the stated offer is valid even after the hour long timer expires.
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.
Activity Notification on http://jcpenney.com highlighting the number of people who viewed the product in the last day.
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.
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.
Confirmshaming on http://radioshack.com. The option to dismiss the popup is framed to shame the user into avoiding it.
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.
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.
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.
Limited Time on http://samsung.com. The website states that the deal is "Limited Time Only" without disclosing the deal's deadline.
Testimonials on http://spanx.com. The website does not disclose how these were sourced, or whether they were submitted by actual customers.
Pressured Selling on http://topcoat.store. On adding a product to cart, a popup appears asking the user to upgrade their purchase.
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.
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.
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."
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.
Transcript of a 17 minute chat log of a consumer trying to cancel their New York Times subscription.
"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."
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.
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.
The meaning of a "tick" is not described (does it mean opt in, or opt out?). This ambiguity will drive higher opt-in rates.
This report argues that TikTok does not comply with the GDPR in a number of ways.
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.
"...this one nearly got me. @trello really wants you to use their free trial... the start without is juuust below your view."
"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."
"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
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
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.
The Norwegian Consumer Council’s study analysed the cancellation process for Amazon Prime. The analysis shows that consumers who want to leave the service are faced with a large number of hurdles, including complicated navigation menus, skewed wording, confusing choices, and repeated nudging. Throughout the process, Amazon manipulates users through wording and graphic design, making the process needlessly difficult and frustrating to understand.
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.
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.
"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? 🤔"
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.
"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.
Maybe don't say there's a chance to get a 25% discount when its literally impossible
"@myoddballs Maybe don't say there's a chance to get a 25% discount when its literally impossible"
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.
When you try to find the unsubscribe button from peacock emails. Dark gray on a dark black background.
The instagram redesign involved moving a new shopping button to where the "like" button used to be, causing many users to tap it by mistake.
In the last days, the most recent Instagram update has been in the news for the worst reasons. Many users and influencers have publicly spoken out their dissatisfaction, namely James Charles, who, in a rant video, advised his followers not to update their apps.
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.
Upgraded to iOS 14. Apple says "setup hey Siri" and has "setup later in settings" under it in small text Tap that, then continue with normal Siri Giant red 1 on settings Have to repeat above Also have to reenable dictation on my keyboard.
Marktplaats.nl saves your email and spams you even if you don’t finish registering for an account
Before the American election we compared the experience of donating money to Donald Trump vs Joe Biden through their websites. Who uses dark patterns to trick users into donating more?
The account deletion process requires the user to check their email. This makes the process unnecessarily difficult.
"A group of researchers at Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP) has just published the findings of its research into a collection of 100,000 political emails, including those from the Trump campaign. It found that the majority of emails used “dark patterns” to manipulate voters and trick donors."
Beekting.com provides customers with instructions on how to create fake notifications that play on cognitive biases.
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.
"Whereas some campaigns might communicate with supporters for the purpose of grass-roots organizing, the Trump emails I receive have only one purpose: to gin up contributions. And the solicitations are unlike any I’ve ever seen. Tonally, they diverge wildly from those of past presidential campaigns — or from anything that might be termed “presidential” at all."
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.
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.
FT.com, making it very easy to sign up for a monthly charge of 28 € instead of cancelling subscription which was my intended purpose.
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.
This website uses a privacy management tool called TrustArc which makes it much slower to opt out of tracking than to opt in.
When confirming preferences to 'Allow Apps to Request to Track', the text is confusing and does not make it clear whether apps are not allowed to track the user, or won’t have to ask before tracking them.
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.
"A new study out of Princeton shows that the vast majority of campaigns use dark patterns and clickbait subject lines to beg for donations."
"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."
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
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.
StoriesOnBoard does not allow users to cancel their subscription without sending an email or starting a support chat.
The Tfl App's Privacy Settings offer a ‘Accept All’ but no ‘Reject All' option. For users not wanting to Accept All the option is to 'Manage Cookies' which then leads the requirement to 'Manage Partners’. Users may find this time-consuming and non-transparent.
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.
Social media platforms repeatedly use so-called dark patterns to nudge you toward giving away more of your data.
Now TV takes subscribers wishing to cancel through multiple screens asking them if they're sure they wish to cancel before letting them select 'I still want to cancel'.
"While nutrition and food labelling is in the news, here's a thread about the nutrition information labels which are required to appear on prepacked food in the UK, and how they can be manipulated with increasingly absurd definitions of a "serving". Examples follow..."
You've seen them before: the UX ploys designed to trick you into spending money, or make it nearly impossible to unsubscribe. Here's what to look out for.
Numerous dark patterns employed by the Trump campaign.
Amazon requires the user to turn on device notifications in order to use AmazonSmile.
I’m still not sure how to unsubscribe from care.com
A class action lawsuit was filed in June 2020, alleging that the New York Times has been violating California law by automatically renewing consumers’ subscriptions without proper authorization and making it “exceedingly difficult” to cancel existing subscriptions.
Although it's arguable whether this was on purpose or not, it is likely to have driven ad revenue from accidental clicks.
This coursera course looks free, which tempts users to register. Once they have registered, the website reveals that the course is not free.
Discount Tire Unsubscribe Dark Pattern? Here is default view.
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)
The New Yorker's consent preferences are unclear. The option for ‘Do Not Sell My Personal Information’ appears to be on, implying the user has selected not to have their information sold, but the instructions say to move it to the left to turn it off. This is confusing.
Udemy Course Dark Pattern for Price Discount, Happened on multiple courses as soon as I clicked buy now or log in it would go back to the original price, I heard they were stealing professors lectures as well and not compensating them or dealing with copyright well either.
Ryanair's text for subscribing to their mailing list says 'If you don't wish to receive these offers, please opt-out' but the tick box is checked by default. This is confusing for the user - do they need to leave the box checked, or uncheck, to opt out?
Tried out @yousician, but sadly hit right away with @darkpatterns. Tap "Start with free trial" (primes me that I'm not committing to anything yet), give finger ID (almost an habitual thing, as it's required for free apps too) and you just signed up to a 145 USD/y plan.
Look at this misleading crap from
@CondeNast. The switch labeled "do not sell my personal info" actually needs to be switched to OFF to keep info private, only explained in the small print. And even though I clicked "do not sell" to get this popup, it's set to ON by default!
I've received an email from @netflix asking me to "finalise the signup" when I don't remember registering. Worried about the identity theft etc went to a chat & discovered this is a "PROMOTIONAL EMAIL".
Dark #UX pattern spotted on @yahoomail - ads are styled to look like unread emails, making it too easy for users to accidentally click on the ad and drive revenue to Yahoo and their advertisers.
When you press the menu icon the result seems to randomly switch between displaying the full menu where you can choose to open the song in Spotify, save it, or share it, and the Apple Music only pop-up. Sometimes you can press it multiple times & get only one result or the other.
@nntaleb Just saw this today. Tesla refunds in general should be easy to get electronically & certainly through customer service. Will he addressed.
Elon @elonmusk, your Customer Support at Tesla is even worse than I claimed last time. It is an insult to your customers.
On the @NewYorker's site, there's a cookie setting literally called "Sell My Personal Information". If you disable it, it will auto-enable itself when you use the CTA to close the window! Absolutely egregious disregard for ethical UX.
I hate stuff like this, came across this one recently on @WishShopping. Also important to note, this only, modal comes up after you submit a form of checkboxes, where the last box resubscribes you to a weekly drip campaign
So, @outlook/@Microsoft wants me to manually un-check like 100 companies if I don't want them collecting my data... #privacy
Very @darkpatterns example by @Microsoft? What are my options here? "Accept optional data..." as opposed to "Yes send optional data...". I wish not to send anything. Which option should I choose?
Plusnet with their intentionally confusing language.
After hunting down the tiny link I was sure I had cancelled my @LinkedIn premium subscription last month. Turns out they switch the primary and secondary button so at a glance you think you are performing the opposite action
WTF @ICICIBank, why would I need life cover while transferring funds to a friend!
Facebook makes it hard for users to leave facebook via their browser's back button.
That Facebook and its #UX#darkpattern When you are on the web, it shows you a message that does not exist to download the messaging app, Hook Model in action.
Google hiding the ability to say no thanks only if you scroll down. Not immediately obvious that you can
A signup window for ClickUp says: 'Save 26 days per year. We analyzed the time saved by over 4,000 teams after switching to ClickUp. That's 624 hours back!' Underneath, the button for not signing up is labelled 'No, I want to waste 26 days'