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
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
Social networks, media sharing networks, discussion forums, content curation platforms, blogging and publishing networks
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.
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. Join the movement to call out corporations for taking what’s not theirs.
We encourage uploading images or screenshots that show the dark pattern you’ve encountered. Please don’t 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.
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.
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 and encourage people to submit their stories of dark patterns online.
Inform the public on how to avoid devious design tactics they may encounter in everyday use of online products and services.
Empower policymakers and advocates with evidence that illustrates real-life harms of deception online.
Change the status quo by advocating for stronger consumer protections and holding companies accountable.