Is Google+ introducing dark patterns?

I discovered over the weekend that by disabling and removing my Google+ ‘account’ the other month I in turn disabled my Youtube account, which I do use regularly.

I hadn’t realised this until I went to post a link to a video I shot a while back onto this blog only to be greeted by a note saying, “welcome to Youtube!”. Shortly after my girlfriend quizzed me saying she had just received a notification that I had ‘joined’ G+ and asked me how come as I had said I had deleted it ages ago.

I am sure if I had read the extensive wishy washy terms and conditions when I scoured for the DELETE G+ FROM MY LIFE button that it said somewhere, “oh and we’ll also shut down all the things you use that aren’t totally shit for you at the same time.”

I think Google have introduced a new dark pattern, with this sudden coupling of services, almost like broadband services requiring you to sign up for TV packages or phone lines when you just want that one good product from them (ahem.. Virgin).

I’ve been working with the founder of the Dark Patterns Wiki, Dr Harry Brignull over the last month, I’ll be quizzing him on his thoughts on this over the coming week and may follow this up over at Dark Patterns.

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Andy Parker

User Experience Designer, headbanger, biker, skater, gamer from Brighton UK.