Deceptive Design – formerly

Reading list

This is how you are manipulated on the internet

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This german language article on introduces the concept of dark patterns.

| Jun 27, 2021

Jun 27, 2021

How video games are becoming the next frontier in the ‘Tech Cold War’

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The 'platformisation' of the games industry is posing some serious challenges for Europe and the internet at large.

Markus Droemann | Mar 03, 2021

Mar 03, 2021

Google’s FLoC Is a Terrible Idea

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The third-party cookie is dying, and Google is trying to create its replacement. No one should mourn the death of the cookie as we know it.

Bennett Cyphers | Mar 03, 2021

Mar 03, 2021

Statement of U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner After Governor Northam Signed Privacy Legislation Into Law

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the following statement after Governor Ralph Northam signed the Consumer Data Protection Act into state law:

| Mar 02, 2021

Mar 02, 2021

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

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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

Can Clubhouse Move Fast Without Breaking Things?

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

Kevin Roose | Feb 25, 2021

Feb 25, 2021

When FOMO Trumps Privacy: The Clubhouse Edition

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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.

Lourdes Turrecha | Feb 19, 2021

Feb 19, 2021

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

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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."

Pam Martens and Russ Martens | Feb 19, 2021

Feb 19, 2021

Les dark patterns ou comment ruiner la navigation Internet

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Des fenêtres de navigation qui s’ouvrent inopinément, des couleurs criardes qui attirent l’œil, des caractères minuscules… Internet est rempli de désagréments en tout genre. Tout ceci est savamment conçu pour piéger l’internaute et porte un nom : les dark patterns. Explications.

Lorraine Redaud | Feb 08, 2021

Feb 08, 2021

The Negative Side of UX/UI Design — The Scary Side of Design

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"In today's video, we will go through dark patterns in UI and UX. These patterns are often misleading and almost blackmailing in nature. They make you feel bad about certain decisions you take and only benefit the business."

Punit Chawla | Feb 08, 2021

Feb 08, 2021

Is the New Instagram Update a New Form of Dark Pattern?

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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.

Mariana V | Nov 19, 2020

Nov 19, 2020

Hanlon’s razor & how it applies to “asshole design”

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"Video about the difference between dark patterns & things badly designed by accident. With some hilarious examples of bad design"

Unusable podcast | Nov 07, 2020

Nov 07, 2020

All the President’s Spam

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"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."

Stephen Hutcheon, Inga Ting and Katia Shatoba | Oct 22, 2020

Oct 22, 2020

Trump’s campaign lures donors with absurd financial promises — and insults

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"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."

Ben Adler | Oct 09, 2020

Oct 09, 2020

How campaigns use manipulative tricks to convince you to open their emails

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"A new study out of Princeton shows that the vast majority of campaigns use dark patterns and clickbait subject lines to beg for donations."

Mark Sullivan | Sep 10, 2020

Sep 10, 2020

Wired: How Facebook and Other Sites Manipulate Your Privacy Choices

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Social media platforms repeatedly use so-called dark patterns to nudge you toward giving away more of your data.

Arielle Pardas | Aug 12, 2020

Aug 12, 2020

The Subtle Tricks Shopping Sites Use to Make You Spend More

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"Last year, researchers from Princeton University and the University of Chicago published a study looking at roughly 11,000 shopping sites, and found dark patterns on more than 11 percent of them, including major retailers like Fashion Nova and J.C. Penney. The researchers discovered that the more popular the website, the more likely it was to feature dark patterns."

Louise Matsakis | Aug 06, 2020

Aug 06, 2020

Eye on Design: Who’s Responsible for Preventing Dark Patterns?

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Some say designers are uniquely positioned to stop the madness. What will it take to make the changes we desperately need?

Sophie Tahran | Aug 06, 2020

Aug 06, 2020

New warning labels informing consumers about products that could be unhealthy are starting to arrive in supermarkets across Mexico"

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In Mexico, large Black octagons are now placed on the packaging of products that are high in saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, sodium or calories.

Unknown author | Jul 30, 2020

Jul 30, 2020

Wired: How to Spot—and Avoid—Dark Patterns on the Web

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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.

Eric Ravenscraft | Jul 29, 2020

Jul 29, 2020

Sale ending soon? How online stores trick you into buying

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"After reviewing 200 of the top shopping sites, including Amazon, eBay and, a study by the University of Michigan’s School of Information found that all the sites had an average of 19 features that could encourage impulse buying, such as limited-time discounts and wording that made an item seem like it was almost out of stock.

Joseph Pisani | Jan 22, 2020

Jan 22, 2020

How ‘dark patterns’ influence travel bookings

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"If you’ve wondered whether there were actually 30 people trying to book the same flight as you, you’re not alone. As Chris Baraniuk finds, the numbers may not be all they seem."

Chris Baraniuk | Dec 11, 2019

Dec 11, 2019

Tricks Online Retailers Use to Get You to Spend More

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"Many e-commerce offers are pushed with fake notifications, bogus countdown timers and other misleading tactics"

Jo Craven McGinty | Nov 22, 2019

Nov 22, 2019

Troubling Online Shopping Habits? Vendors’ Practices Might Be to Blame

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"Members of Princeton’s Web Transparency & Accountability Project (WebTAP) used automated web-crawling programs to assemble a list of the dark patterns the programs could see in a page’s text. Then they classified the dark patterns’ methods systematically.

Bennett McIntosh ’16 | Nov 13, 2019

Nov 13, 2019

They Know What You Watched Last Night

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"Many streaming customers are unaware that the sitcom titles they prefer, the ads they do not skip, their email addresses and the serial numbers identifying the devices they use are being harvested and distributed."

Tiffany Hsu | Oct 25, 2019

Oct 25, 2019

Smart TVs are data-collecting machines, new study shows

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"Add smart TVs to the growing list of home appliances guilty of surveilling people’s movements. A new study from Princeton University shows internet-connected TVs, which allow people to stream Netflix and Hulu, are loaded with data-hungry trackers."

Zoe Schiffer | Oct 11, 2019

Oct 11, 2019

The Endless, Invisible Persuasion Tactics of the Internet

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"Online shopping turns your brain against you, but you can fight back."

Sidney Fussell | Aug 02, 2019

Aug 02, 2019

How E-Commerce Sites Manipulate You Into Buying Things You May Not Want

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"'Alexandra from Anaheim just saved $222 on her order' says one message next to an image of a bright, multicolored dress. [...] But “Alexandra from Anaheim” did not buy the dress. She does not exist."

Jennifer Valentino-DeVries | Jun 24, 2019

Jun 24, 2019

How E-Commerce Sites Manipulate You Into Buying Things You May Not Want

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"'Alexandra from Anaheim' was among the shoppers that visitors to ThredUp were told had recently bought items on the site. But she didn’t exist."

Jennifer Valentino-DeVries | Jun 24, 2019

Jun 24, 2019

When manipulation is the digital business model

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

Madhumita Murgia | May 01, 2019

May 01, 2019

Big Tech’s ‘dark patterns’ could be outlawed under new Senate bill

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"Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) introduced a bill that would prohibit large internet platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google from using deceptive design tricks as methods to trick users into handing over their personal data."

Makena Kelly | Apr 09, 2019

Apr 09, 2019

Websites that insult you - the UX dark pattern of "confirmshaming"

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"A chat about the dark pattern of “Confirm shaming”, which guilts the user into opting into something. Often seen on an exit intent popup, or a registration form, the words that course you into taking an action that benefits the website owner is getting more extreme."

Unusable podcast | Jan 20, 2019

Jan 20, 2019 Headphones are collecting too much personal data

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“I can’t think of a single reason why a pair of workout earbuds need access to someone’s menstrual history. We should just call it what it is because, at that point, it doesn’t feel like a transaction anymore. It’s just spying.”

Adam Molina | Jan 17, 2019

Jan 17, 2019

Texas voting machines: Switching votes

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"When Texas’ early voting process started, some people finished filling out their ballot only to see that their choices had been changed — either switched from one party to another, or erased completely. This seemed like a bug at best, or deliberate election tampering at worst."

Adi Robertson | Oct 30, 2018

Oct 30, 2018

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

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

Binder, Matt | Jun 28, 2018

Jun 28, 2018

The Prize in Economic Sciences

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The 2017 Nobel Prize was awarded to Richard H. Thaler "for his contributions to behavioural economics", integrating economics with psychology. Behavioural economics is widely considered to be a useful framework with which to consider Dark Patterns.

Author unknown | Oct 09, 2017

Oct 09, 2017

The Year Dark Patterns Won

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"This year, it felt like nearly every app and product had embraced some form of dark pattern. Users tweeted about seeing them on Skype, Facebook, Amazon, Uber, Office Depot, even America’s Test Kitchen, and yes, LinkedIn–truly a dark pattern early adopter."

Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan | Dec 21, 2016

Dec 21, 2016

When Websites Won’t Take No for an Answer

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Harry Brignull, a user-experience consultant in Britain who helps websites and apps develop consumer-friendly features, has a professional bone to pick with sites that seem to maneuver people into signing up for services they might not actually want

Natasha Singer | May 15, 2016

May 15, 2016