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

Photo Illustration by The New York Times; Screen grabs, via ThredUp

  • “The prevalence of dark patterns across the web is unknown, but in a study released this week, researchers from Princeton University have started to quantify the phenomenon…researchers developed software that automatically scanned more than 10,000 sites and found that more than 1,200 of them used techniques that the authors identified as dark patterns.
  • More than 160 retail sites used a tactic called “confirmshaming” that requires users to click a button that says something like “No thanks! I’d rather join the ‘Pay Full Price for Things’ club” if they want to avoid signing up or buying something.
  • About 30 sites made it easy to sign up for services but particularly hard to cancel, requiring phone calls or other procedures.”

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