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E-Commerce || What are dark patterns and why has the Indian government banned them

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The new guidelines were formed in consultation with the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), law firms, and e-commerce platforms. Various representatives from Flipkart, Google, Reliance, Amazon, Swiggy, Zomato, Meta, Ship Rocket, Go-MMT, Ola and more were also consulted.

What are dark patterns?

Think of a dark pattern as carefully constructed mental traps embedded in a user interface, to trick people into doing something you don't want to. For example - websites might use deceptive wording or intentional phrasing to shame you into acting, like third-party cookie agreements.

These copies are usually written to psychologically manipulate a visitor into agreeing to something they want to, but this is just one example of dark patterns.

Some websites like Facebook, intentionally make it hard for users to opt out of sharing information, by making the option to do so, fairly hidden or not intuitive. You may have also noticed that some websites make it extremely easy to sign up, but very difficult to delete your account.

These patterns are influenced by human thinking and designed deliberately to get you to click somewhere where you don't want to, or get you to agree to something you don't want to.

Under the guidelines issued by the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), 13 deceptive patterns have been outlined as banned. These include creating a false sense of urgency by artificial scarcity also known as FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).

Basket sneaking, which is a means to add extra unwanted items to your checkout cart on e-commerce sites, without your knowledge. Forced action, which implores the user to sign up for extra services or guilts them into sharing personal information.

Others include disguised advertisements, confirm shaming, subscription traps, drip pricing, interface interference, bait and switch, nagging, SaaS billing, trick questions, rogue malware and more.

These guidelines apply to all platforms that offer goods and services in India, even advertisers and sellers.

What do the new guidelines say?

If a service or platform is found engaging in one of the 13 patterns, it will be subject to penalty under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act. E-commerce platforms will face heavy penalties if they push news articles or false advertisements, which are blended into the interface to trick people into clicking them.

The Central Consumer Protection Authority will also keep an eye on new emerging dark patterns to add to the list.

The new guidelines were formed in consultation with the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), law firms, and e-commerce platforms. Various representatives from Flipkart, Google, Reliance, Amazon, Swiggy, Zomato, Meta, Ship Rocket, Go-MMT, Ola and more were also consulted.

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Deal Subedar Deal Subedar
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VU for higher visibility. 

Please share official press release link. 

Savings Mentor Savings Mentor
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Using the word UP TO is a 100% dark pattern and should be banned. It is a very cunning way to lure a person into spending more.

Pro Tech Guru Pro Tech Guru
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Sabse bada dark pattern - Flipkart protect 😤

Screenshot2023-12-10-00-21-26-540com.flipkart.android

Screenshot2023-12-10-00-21-10-404com.flipkart.android

They prompt shit damage protection policies while buying actual product but claims are very difficult.

The government bringing consumer first policies is laughable at best 😑

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Deal Subedar Deal Subedar
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VU for higher visibility. 

Please share official press release link. 

Deal Newbie Deal Newbie
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If any bill was introduced or Act was tabled, then I am unable to find any.

However, in the meantime.. found this PDF link and Press Information Bureau page. (Basically queried the search engines to show nic.in and gov.in results.)
https://consumeraffairs.nic.in/sites/default/files/file-uploads/latestnews/Draft%20Guidelines%20for%20Prevention%20and%20Regulation%20of%20Dark%20Patterns%202023.pdf
and
https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1955344
Pro Entertainer Pro Entertainer
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So does this mean i can now sue gaypay for bringing BLNT and UPTO cb offers? Will i get 50 billions for mental harrasment in gaypay Rangoli diya diwali?

@goss8877 idhar aao bhaiyya laddoo bat rha he.

Deal Newbie Deal Newbie
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𝘈𝘪𝘴𝘪 𝘬𝘰𝘪 𝘣𝘩𝘪 𝘶𝘮𝘦𝘦𝘥 𝘳𝘢𝘬𝘩𝘯𝘢 𝘷𝘺𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘩 𝘩𝘢𝘪 𝘗_𝘢_𝘯_𝘬_𝘢_𝘑 𝘱𝘺𝘢𝘢𝘳𝘪. 𝘈𝘱𝘯𝘦 𝘤𝘩𝘩𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘺 𝘴𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘭डो 𝘬𝘪 𝘤𝘩𝘩𝘰𝘵𝘪 𝘴𝘪 𝘢𝘢𝘴𝘩𝘢 𝘬𝘰 𝘣𝘩𝘰𝘰𝘭 𝘫𝘢𝘢𝘪𝘺𝘦 𝘢𝘢𝘱.
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Savings Mentor Savings Mentor
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Using the word UP TO is a 100% dark pattern and should be banned. It is a very cunning way to lure a person into spending more.

Budding Star Budding Star
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There were few stores in the swiggy mini section and they say "90% off up to 75 on mov of 2000" 🥲

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Pro Tech Guru Pro Tech Guru
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Sabse bada dark pattern - Flipkart protect 😤

Screenshot2023-12-10-00-21-26-540com.flipkart.android

Screenshot2023-12-10-00-21-10-404com.flipkart.android

They prompt shit damage protection policies while buying actual product but claims are very difficult.

The government bringing consumer first policies is laughable at best 😑

Wishlist Champion Wishlist Champion
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It can be removed at checkout; they are not forcing you to buy.

I have availed of their service many times and got very good service and saved many thousand rupees by just paying a few hundred rupees.
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Deal Cadet Deal Cadet
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Scammer Flipkart showing banner of discount on mobile but won't let you buy the base variants. 

Wingman Wingman
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A while back, on the Flipkart app, the price on the wishlist would be lower than on the product page. You'll only realise it when you click it. I think they didn't update the price in the wish list when it goes up but they did when it went down. I had checked Amazon too and they didn't do it.

Now flipkart has stopped it it seems,  now my wishlist items are showing the correct prices. Anyone else noticed? This was a couple of years ago. It had made a bad impression of flipkart vs Amazon with me.

Like Magnet Like Magnet
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In many scenarios... Product is not deliverable in your location

Wingman Wingman
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HURRY, BIGGG, HUUUGE, FATTT, BUMPERRR  OFFER - 20% cashback.

*t&c

Minimum purchase Rs 5000.

Maximum cashback upto 100.

Like Magnet Like Magnet
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ye to next level pr le gy

Deal Subedar Deal Subedar
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amazon has suggestions for every product, like if you want 1 it will say add all three.

eg, buying mobile it will suggest covers, screenguard, and extended warranty

Like Magnet Like Magnet
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Discount on ..  fake prices ...

Wingman Wingman
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Screenshot2024-01-03-23-27-39-4749b96b5fbae0d12a18edc4a3afe0dfd92
Wingman Wingman
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Disguised advertisement? Screenshot2024-01-03-23-27-39-4749b96b5fbae0d12a18edc4a3afe0dfd92
Like Magnet Like Magnet
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That too !!
Up to
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