How to spot the ‘dark patterns’ websites use to trick us into buying

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Mainz (dpa) — You buy something cheap and seemingly innocuous like an ebook with tips on nutrition or dog training. Then when your next bank statement arrives you discover that you’ve unwittingly signed up for a monthly subscription. The way into the subscription trap was in the website’s small print, well hidden by the bright colours and distracting buttons. This is what’s known as a dark pattern: Attempts to influence a consumer’s decision through psychological tricks or manipulative design elements. Beware cookie banners “It started with cookie banners,” says Jennifer Kaiser, Digital and Co…

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