How do you raise a dark pattern bug?

Originally sent in 🏃 Random

Would you tag relevant bugs as 'deceptive'?

Some dark patterns are now illegal :smiley:

@rosie shared a couple of useful things about dark patterns.

Have you ever had to a raise bug related to a dark pattern? What did you do and what happened?

And if you haven’t, how would you go about raising a bug if you spot a dark pattern being used by a) the company you work for b) another company?


I suspect it can be non profitable. So have only ever done so verbally. Certainly been aware of them at most places I have worked in the past. Even if you have a Social Governance program, raising them can be pointless because these issues are easily stonewalled, especially in remote working situations. They can easily clog your backlog.
Good to remember this nugget:

“Every technology … is the product of a particular economic and political context and carries a program, an agenda, and a philosophy that may or may not be life-enhancing and that therefore requires scrutiny, criticism, and control.” – Neil Postman, Technopoly


Some products, specifically some “games”, ARE a dark pattern / contain mostly dark patterns.
I would call such products not anymore games, their more about gambling, scam etc.
Diablo 4, NBA 2K, FIFA …

I denounce them on social media when ever reasonable. I doubt having much impact by that.

The companies gain profit from this products so I doubt it is a bug to them.
“Quality is value to a person.” :person_shrugging:

I guess the key of this dark patterns is that they make you feel superficial/short-term fine with the quality this games provides to you. But in long-term they cause friction, problems in your life.


If it’s legality is questionable then report it to your legal team or general counsel.
If its “just” unethical and you haven’t gotten any traction in the normal avenues you might try reporting it to the ethics hotline, most companies (at least here) have. You may want to do this anonymously.


It is about psychological safety.

My way to change things is to blog about it:

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