Dark Patterns
Tip Line

Dark Patterns Tip Line

Every day, we’re exploited for profit through dark patterns: design tactics used in websites and apps to persuade you into doing things you probably would not do otherwise.

We need to take a stand against dark patterns—and you can help by reporting a dark pattern today. It will help us fight back against companies using manipulative dark patterns to take our private information, money, and time. You deserve respect, online and off.

Report a Pattern
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WE'RE DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE

The Dark Patterns Tip Line is now hosted by the Digital Civil Society Lab at Stanford PACS as of November 3, 2021. Thanks to the Consumer Reports Digital Lab and the original creators of the site, supported in part by a grant from the Rita Allen Foundation. More information coming soon.

If you have questions or comments, please email us at hello@darkpatternstipline.org.

DARK PATTERNS ARE EVERYWHERE

Dark patterns are common in websites and apps we use everyday, but they’re sometimes hard to spot because they’re designed to deceive us. Through secretly obtaining personal information and making us do things we don’t want to do, dark patterns can create inconveniences or even serious harms.

Requires personal data to continue

Social Media

Social networks, media sharing networks, discussion forums, content curation platforms, blogging and publishing networks

Example

In order to use a social media app, the company forces you to connect your social networks to your phone number before you are able to use the service; or the choice to sign up using email is made less prominent or hard to find.

Report a
Dark Pattern

Notice a website or app up to something suspicious? Maybe you’ve felt forced into giving up personal details or discovered hidden fees. Document and share your experience to help prevent other people from also being harmed. Sharing a dark pattern you spotted in the wild helps us learn more about interfaces and designs that impact real people. Your tips will help policymakers and enforcers hold companies accountable for their dishonest and harmful practices, and we may feature your submission on this site.

Important note: The Dark Patterns Tip Line does not provide legal help. Reporting a dark pattern here helps raise public awareness and contributes to a list of examples for policymakers, enforcers and researchers. If you find a dark pattern that you believe violates the law, you can file a complaint with your state Attorney General (AG) who enforces consumer protection statutes against unfair, misleading, and deceptive acts and practices.

Report here

Please do not include any personal information in your submission. We review all submissions prior to publishing them on the website, and may opt to not publish your submission due to quality or clarity issues, or if your submission duplicates an existing published dark pattern on our site.
1. Describe the design pattern and the type of harm you experienced:
Select category...

Choose from the categories of harms.

Please explain your experience and what harm it caused you. How and where did you encounter this dark pattern? What was frustrating about the experience? What problems did it cause you?

2. Upload a screenshot:
Please upload a screenshot of the pattern. We STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you do this so that we can verify your report. We cannot always recreate your individual experience and appreciate your input as evidence.

Drag & Drop your file here
Or browse files on your device

If you don’t have an image, that’s OK.

3. Tell us who used this pattern, where to find it, and the type of business or service:

The company, platform, product or service that you noticed doing shady stuff.

The product associated with the dark pattern (if applicable).

Where should we go to try and recreate your experience?

Select industry...

Choose from the most commonly effected industries.

4. Optional: Please provide an email contact if you want us to follow up with you:

You can optionally share your email so we can reach out if we have any questions. We won’t share your email. Please do not provide your email address if you are under 16 years of age.

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms of Stanford’s Digital Civil Society Lab’s Data Use Policy.
Read more about how we'll use your submissions.

Our Purpose

The Dark Patterns Tip Line is a platform people can use to submit manipulative designs they encounter in everyday digital products and services. Through crowdsourcing human stories of digital manipulation and amplifying people’s voices, we will raise awareness of the real-life harms that result from manipulative design.

The submissions reflect the views of the people who submitted them, and not necessarily those of the Stanford Digital Civil Society Lab.

About Us

Engage

Engage and encourage people to submit their stories of dark patterns online.

Inform

Inform the public on how to avoid devious design tactics they may encounter in everyday use of online products and services.

Empower

Empower policymakers and advocates with evidence that illustrates real-life harms of deception online.

Change

Change the status quo by advocating for stronger consumer protections and holding companies accountable.