Lior Strahilevitz's Research on Dark Patterns Featured

How websites use "dark patterns" to manipulate you

There's no denying it — the internet is annoying. From endless website pop-ups and unavoidable cookies that track your every online move to chirpy "notifications" that try to shame us into registering for useless lists, using the web today is to be pushed, pulled and generally manipulated into paying attention to something.

So why do companies pester us so relentlessly given the risk of alienating the very consumers they're trying to woo? Simply, it works really, really well. As shown by a first-of-its kind study, such tactics are highly effective in getting people to sign up for services they don't actually want. What's more, despite conventional wisdom that websites can only annoy users so much before they scurry in the other direction, many of these tactics don't even make users noticeably angry, the study finds.

In the paper, published in the Journal of Legal Analysis, the University of Chicago's Jamie Luguri and Lior Strahilevitz conducted several experiments involving thousands of participants broadly resembling the U.S. population. Strahilevitz, a law professor, and Luguri, a law clerk and University of Chicago graduate, tricked participants into thinking they had been enrolled in a "privacy protection plan" via a bait-and-switch scheme and then required them to click through several increasingly manipulative interfaces.

Read more at CBS News

Internet Privacy