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Dark Patterns at Scale: Findings from a Crawl of 11K Shopping Websites

This is a release of the data and code for the research paper "Dark Patterns at Scale: Findings from a Crawl of 11K Shopping Websites". The paper will appear at the ACM Computer Supported Collaborative Work and Social Computing (CSCW) 2019 conference.

Authors: Arunesh Mathur, Gunes Acar, Michael Friedman, Elena Lucherini, Jonathan Mayer, Marshini Chetty, Arvind Narayanan.

Paper: Available on arXiv.



The repository has three primary components:

  • src/: Contains code for generating the list of shopping websites, the product page classifier, and the checkout crawler (based on OpenWPM, inside crawler/).

  • data/: Contains the list of shopping websites, product pages, output of the clustering analysis, and the final list of dark patterns.

  • analysis/: Contains code for running the clustering analysis, long-term deceptive analysis of certain kinds of dark patterns, third-party prevalence analysis, and statistics about the dark patterns.

Dark Patterns Crawl Data

The data from the checkout crawls can be downloaded here.


Please use the following BibTeX to cite our paper:

	title        = {Dark Patterns at Scale: Findings from a Crawl of 11K Shopping Websites},
	author       = {Mathur, Arunesh and Acar, Gunes and Friedman, Michael and Lucherini, Elena and Mayer, Jonathan and Chetty, Marshini and Narayanan, Arvind},
	year         = 2019,
	journal      = {Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact.},
	publisher    = {ACM},
	volume       = 1,
	number       = {CSCW},
	issue_date   = {November 2019}


We are grateful to the developers of the following projects:


Please see the license file.