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What is dark pattern, which has been banned by the government, if you understand it with an example, your misdeeds will be ruined in 2 minutes!

New Delhi. The term dark pattern may sound difficult or heavy, but it is not very difficult to understand. The problem is that people are unaware about it. Today we are trying to make you understand it very easily. Before understanding this term, you should know about the news due to which dark pattern is in discussion. In fact, the Indian government has recently banned all e-commerce platforms, such as Amazon, Flipkart, etc., from using dark patterns. In a notification issued on November 30, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) issued guidelines to stop dark patterns. Let us understand what is this?

You must be using Facebook or Instagram app. If we do then it will be very easy to understand this term. Many times you might have received a notification asking for your permission. Look carefully at the picture given below. It is clearly visible that the company deliberately wants you to take a particular action. This may seem normal to you, but such a game has been played in the user interface (UI) design, which is not understandable to the common user.

The text written in this app uses the words Activity and Personalized, not Tracking and Targeting. But if understood carefully, the company wants to track you and after tracking, it will target you for specific types of advertisements. Tracking and targeting has been done with the help of soft and good looking words and design. This is not from today, but for a long time.

Users say yes even if they don’t want to!
You may not intend to tell anything about yourself to Facebook and Instagram, but when you read words like better experience, personalized, activity, you like these words. . As soon as you like these words, you will move forward to take a specific action. It is possible that you may not see any kind of threat or negativity and you may do what the company wants you to do.

You will take that decision also because the acceptable option will have been specifically highlighted in the design. If you look at the bottom of the picture shown above, you will find that two options are given. The background color of the first option (Make Ads Less Personalized) is black, which is making it blend into the background of the entire picture. If we take a look, it is not highlighted. The second option just below that is Make Ads More Personalized. It is highlighted, which attracts the user’s attention.

This is just one example. You must have seen some other examples of dark patterns. Let us discuss about them in brief-

    • When you take a free trial of any service, at the time of signing up for it, you have to give permission for the fee to be deducted automatically after the trial ends. Why doesn’t it happen that after the free trial is over, the user decides whether he wants to give the details of his cards or not.
    • Many times, while browsing the web or running an app, some advertisements pop up for which even the closing button is not visible. It is in a very light color somewhere in the corner. This button is so small that by tapping on it, many times the advertisement itself gets tapped and another link opens. This is also a dark pattern.
    • Many times you must have seen on e-commerce apps that a deal is given and time is running out on it. It is shown that if you do not purchase the item within a certain time, you will miss the deal and will never get the deal at the same rate again.
    • There are some apps and websites in which it is very easy to sign-in or log-in, but the option to sign-out is not available even after searching.

 

From the above examples, you must have understood how companies trap users and force them to take action as per their wish. However, the user may feel that he is doing this of his own free will. Now in future, whenever you see something like this, you will immediately understand that it is a dark pattern.

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