Here's how it goes. You decide to be a Budweiser bottle for Halloween. You think, "I should really get into the head of Budweiser. Really study up on the brand voice, observe it's customers, dive deep into the underworld of Bud."
So you "Like" Budweiser on Facebook.
Fast forward to mid-November. Your costume was a success.You were even able to keep perfect beads of condensation flowing down your neck all night and still get a few phone numbers from girls that "don't really drink beer" but might make an exception for you. That was fun.
Continuing to get marketing messaging for a beer you don't even drink in your Facebook stream, not so fun.
So you bop over to the page and look for the "Unlike" button.
It takes you 5 mins of looking around. You didn't find it where it was when you "Liked" it. You look on your profile. You look in your settings. Nothing! You go back to the page and carefully walk your eyes down every piece of text on the page and finally there it is, right next to "Create a Page for My Business" What?!? Why?
You've just been victim of a Dark Pattern.
Site designers place the functionality or information they want you to find front and center, then move it once you have completed the desirable behavior so you are less likely to undo said desirable behavior or re-find information that does not support the business's plans for you.
Now I get that it would be unsavory to have a big "Unlike" button at the top of the page but may I suggest a couple palatable solutions.
1. Provide an "Unlike" button for each item in my Like list. As you can see the one place where you can find a full list of your Likes has no management capabilities.
2. Add the Unlike button or link to the group of other functions available on the page. This just makes sense.
I could be wrong maybe this was just an oversight, but I don't think so.
What really bothers me is every time a site does something like this....
1. Users lose confidence in themselves. Most people will blame themselves for the inability to complete a task on-line. When people feel less confident, they stop trying to learn and we need users to grow with us so we can continue to grow the web.
2. We lose the trust of users. If users consistently feel they are being tricked and don't understand, they will become more selective about what they do and how quickly they will do it. This makes our jobs a lot harder.
3. The site metrics are skewed. Good data is only as good as the data its self. If I've got 2k people that "Like" me only because they can't figure out how to not "Like" me, the metrics of the entire program are thrown off.
If you haven't checked out the Dark Patterns wiki be sure you do. I'm sure none of you are doing these things but just in-case ;)