How to fight the ‘dark patterns’ websites deploy to trick you to spend more

Magazine subscriptions that mysteriously end up in your online shopping cart. Items with 50 people looking at them “right now” that are still for sale weeks later — these are the internet's “dark patterns”.

As we spend more of our lives on the internet, it is vital to know when we're being manipulated: the design choices that nudge us into unnecessary purchases, into revealing personal information, into clicking accept when we'd rather not.

The term “dark patterns” emerged in 2010, when UK-based user experience consultant Harry Brignull took a closer look at Ryanair.

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