One of these checkboxes lies

An especially dark example of a dark pattern.

How dark is this dark pattern?

Screenshot of two checkboxes. The text reads: 
YES, I'M HAPPY TO BE CONTACTED BY: [checkbox] Email. 
NO, I'D PREFER NOT TO BE CONTACTED BY: [checkbox] Phone

Yes, this is real. No, I can’t fathom it either. It’s from an online petition by Save the Children, spotted by former colleague of mine Tricia Dever (see her post here on LinkedIn). It’s one of the worst examples I’ve seen in a while.

It reminded me of this parody version on the email signup page of the humour website I used to run with a couple of mates in the early 2000s:

Screenshot of a privacy statement, which reads: "One of these boxes always lies, the other always tells the truth*
Checkbox 1: Tick me. I will not share your email address with any third parties. Checkbox 2: Don't trust him, he will bombard you with penis enlargement and mortgage offers. Tick me if you know what's good for you.
*the truth is, both of these boxes are liars. Regardless of which one you tick we won't sell your details or send you spam. Or will we?**
**no, we won't***
***or will we?

It was risible in 2003. It’s unforgiveable in 2023.

More on dark patterns here.

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