Dark Patterns: why do companies pursue strategies that make their customers regret doing business?

Well, I for one will be somewhat satisfied if only sushi bars stop inspecting my genitals


It’s in System Preferences off the Apple menu in MacOS, but otherwise identical. Thanks for that!

I note that tucking that option way down under a load of guff about TLS and security settings and other MEGO is itself a dark pattern.


Does this make you disappointed in BoingBoing?


Not disappointed. It would be nice if it was opt-in, that’s all.

I should note, though, that a data-breach on Boingboing will now include my junk.


$49.95? I’m paying almost eighty bucks!

They must charge by surface area.


Before I read the article, I’m going to go with “market power”. Back in a mo…

…apparently it has something to do with dick size? Or scrotum area? And mail? Too complicated.


To be fair, a lot of that cost is hazard pay.

I’m sure you two can work something out. Just leave the rest of us out of it.


Lordy, I didn’t even mean that double entendre! You guys bring out the worst (best?) in me. :wink:


I found recently that my least favourite dark pattern is due to legal idiocy:

“Check this box if you do not want to receive…” happens so frequently because, legally speaking, in Europe you’re not allowed to have a pre-checked checkbox wrt marketing preferences. A sensible lawmaker would have said (as some countries in the EU have demanded for their regions) that preferences cannot be opt-out, but because they didn’t consider the consequences impactful a legally responsible company must implement the dark pattern. Sad panda.

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So when do we get to shoot back at the dark pattern? I remember back in the crazy pioneering days of the interwebs, someone came out with a program called “Rattlesnake” or something - which seemed to identify the computer(s) any kind of virus attack was launched from, then bit back (hence the name) by sinking its own viral fangs into the would-be assailant.

Apparently it worked; but clearly, was utterly illegal, and quickly disappeared.

My pet hate is how social networks harvest information from you. Buried in the EULAs (maybe), the modern trick over the last couple of years is to harvest information from the device you’re using. LinkedIn doesn’t even try to hide it - in the lists of “people you may know”, there are clearly simple emails with no pictures - pulled straight from my address book. FB recently offered me a friend to befriend after I texted him for the first time in a year.

Solution? Delete, delete, delete the apps - goodbye, and I spread the word!


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