The New York Times reports on a Princeton University study that explores the prevalent use of "dark patterns" to manipulate the decisions of online consumers. Researchers examined more than 10,000 sites and found that more than 1,200 used the patterns, including ThredUp’s fake notifications, among other misleading tactics. Arunesh Mathur, Princeton doctoral student and one of the authors of the report, said the research had a limited scope as the study's software only scanned retail sites, which leaves the possibility of dark patterns being used more frequently on other sites. The study comes months after members of the U.S. Senate proposed a bill to regulate the use of dark patterns by social media companies. France's data protection authority also recently released a report on dark patterns. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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