Jump to content

The Safe Free Download Site

Why not become a full member?, it's fast, free and allows you to participate in our forums and add or comment on our free software, leave reviews, access unlimited free downloads and more! - we NEVER share your details with anyone else, that's a promise! ... REGISTER FREE TODAY


");

Can we rely on WOT's ratings system?


64 replies to this topic

#31 Claw

    Platinum Poster!

  • Advanced Member
  • 252 posts

    Posted 16 December 2011 - 06:57 AM

    Look Alpha,,We asked a simple question on the WOT forum and all I got out of it was alot of "bashing"!! This just seems like a whole lot of conversation without a conclusion!! A couple of hundred words later and two seperate forums later and we are still no closer than we were before. Lets get really simple at this without all the "big" words or "generalizations". If I tell you not to do something,,,the first thing you are going to do is ask "WHY" !!!! Then you would expect an explanation,and you would get one,,and rightfully so. Now if WOT rates a site "BAD", to warn me it's better not to go there, naturally I'm going to ask "WHY"!!!! And,,,,,rightfully so,,"I" would expect an answer , and should get one too!!!! Either way you look at it, we would be helping each other,,and that's the way it should be!!
    After all,,we are all in this together!! If a group like WOT or any of the others want to take the responsibility to try and help the users out there,,,they need to be "FULLY" responsible actions(ratings) If you want to be called the "WEB OF TRUST",,,explain to "WHY" we should "TRUST" you !!!!!!


    #32 marko

      Platinum Poster!

    • Root Admin
    • 25,393 posts

      Posted 16 December 2011 - 08:06 AM

      Claw, I think you've misinterpreted what AlphaCentauri actually meant, he was attempting to explain why a rating would have little effect, from someone with a low level of activity on WOT as opposed to someone with a great deal of activity - the more activity and consistent ratings a user provides on WOT, then the more weight their ratings will have - in this example, the guy doing the negative rating obviously just hit out with a drive-by rating, therefore his vote most probably didn't count to the overall reputation of the site. I've came to realise now also, that although it is a relatively simply question, the solutions that even I've suggested, if implemented, wouldn't necessarily improve anything, in fact it could make things worse.

      Jim, I think your point also actually proves the WOT system can work in favour of a site sometimes, rather than against it?.

      We'll always have those people who will rate a site bad for no reason, or think they've found a genuine reason to rate a site negatively, but the comment you refer to has had 5 "thumbs down" meaning others obviously think that statement is rubbish, as such those who gave the thumbs down probably also rated the site positively which would have the effect of cancelling out any negative ratings from that particular user. Yes, it's annoying when some people rate a site incorrectly, but that's just the nature of the beast itself and something we quite possibly have to accept as a consequence of having site advisories. There is no such thing as the perfect warning system.

      We also have to remember that WOT doesn't operate or work in the same way as the other site advisories which is why we can sometimes see a lot of discrepancies between the advisories themselves, WOT showing a bad rating for some sites whereas the other don't. The other advisories work more on automated scanning of their subject sites whilst at the same time taking user ratings and comments on board, most of which have no filtering or automated process of trust detection and I have no idea if those comments bear any weight on the overall reputation of a site. WOT on the other hand rely on trust from it's members to rate sites and use whatever intelligent systems they do (such as Bayesian inference) to ensure any ratings made are honest and "trustworthy". Where their filters pick up on suspicious, inconsistent or just downright illogical behavior then the weight of that users ratings will be severely impaired meaning no matter how badly they rate a site they won't affect the overall rating of that site - the same is applied to new users, they have very little weight and cannot instantly affect a sites reputation until they have a little more weight and have proved to be consistent to the system.

      I think what AlphaCentauri is saying here is when there are very few votes made for a site (i.e. no heads, or only one head besides the ratings) then we can more or less take the ratings with a pinch of salt because it represents only a few opinions and not necessarily accurate ones. That said, it's great that we're all able to take the system to pieces but it still doesn't take us away from the fact that the casual WOT user won't question ratings, when someone rates a site incorrectly and a user is greeted with a warning from the plugin, chances are they'll run a mile. Doesn't make it right, but the advisory services are often guilty of negatively rating sites unnecessarily - but if I were to put my trust in any of them, chances are it would be WOT now after reading what lengths they go to to ensure they filter out erratic ratings and suspicious behaviors from it's members - the likes of which I don't see from the other one's ?!!

      But let's take the million dollar question of ratings without comments - if WOT forced people to comment, then potentially those people doing the "bad" ratings or rather the unnecessary bad ratings (i.e. with no real cause or reason) would simply add a comment along the lines of "bad site" or "don't trust this site" or something else that didn't necessarily give us any more information than it does at present. That said, maybe forcing people to comment would do more harm than good actually, cause if 5 people voted negatively for a site unjustly and left 5 comments of a negative theme, then 5 trusted users came along and voted up the ratings and left 5 positive comments then it would mean anyone else coming along afterwards would see both the 5 negative and positive comments which, for me anyway, would only confuse matters further!!. As it stands just now, 5 negative votes from untrusted sources may be enough to tip the scales over and rate the site poorly, but 5 positive votes from trusted sources would certainly boost the sites reputation and without comments we would simply see a positively rated website.

      OK, my heads really does hurt now :crazy:

      #33 Claw

        Platinum Poster!

      • Advanced Member
      • 252 posts

        Posted 16 December 2011 - 08:49 AM

        Wow,,I haven't read this much since 8th grade !! You're the boss Marko I just follow your lead,,and trust me, I understand all your reasoning. Well buddy , your head may hurt ,,but it's 3 o'clock in the morning here,,and I got a playground play date with my 3yr. daughter when the sun comes up. So,,thank you that was "FUN",,,I'm out of here!!!!

        #34 BobJam

          New Poster!

        • Members
        • 5 posts

          Posted 16 December 2011 - 08:52 AM

          Clarification

          This will be a lot briefer than my previous post . . . and you should be able to read through it, Jim {slaps hands and reminds self that sarcasm meant humorously . . . smiley face emoticons notwithstanding . . . can sometimes alienate an audience. If so, I apologize . . . no intention to be abrasive or less than civil}.

          I just want to explain why I made the comment: "You guys are clearly biased AGAINST WOT . . . ", because Marco said "As for us being clearly biased against WOT, I must say if we've gave that impression then I'm really not sure how we have done so" and Jim also remarked: "Anti WOT? Dislike WOT? Deary me, whatever gave you that idea BobJam?".

          Here are the excerpts that "gave me that idea" that the FLAVOR of this thread was "AGAINST WOT":

          View PostJames (Jim) Hillier, on 13 December 2011 - 11:12 PM, said:

          as far as I am concerned it is next to useless.

          View PostJames (Jim) Hillier, on 13 December 2011 - 11:12 PM, said:

          it is often doing a disservice to the sites involved

          View PostJames (Jim) Hillier, on 14 December 2011 - 10:43 AM, said:

          seems to me you are dealing with a bunch of people who are very closed-minded and not really interested in listening to any criticisms - pretty much a waste of time and effort mate.
          Repeated later, BTW.

          View PostClaw, on 14 December 2011 - 08:52 PM, said:

          all I read was a lot of skirting around the issue at hand.

          View PostClaw, on 14 December 2011 - 08:52 PM, said:

          What I got out of it was a lot of run around

          View Postmarko, on 14 December 2011 - 11:48 PM, said:

          Things just seem to be going from bad to worse over on the WOT forum

          View Postmarko, on 14 December 2011 - 11:48 PM, said:

          it's pretty obvious the answers sought won't be coming any time soon from that arena !!

          Now before you guys jump all over me for these excerpts . . . NO, those quotes certainly are not inflammatory or otherwise even close to flaming . . . I realize they are your opinions and as such I really can't say it's "right" or "wrong". That's why I used the word "FLAVOR", and indeed I was careful not to say "bashing WOT", or "Anti-WOT" or "Dislike WOT" when I made the remark (though there is a fine line between those words and "AGAINST").

          I refrained from using those words purposely for two reasons: #1) They can be perceived as inflammatory and I certainly didn't want to appear abrasive and #2) A word like "bash" implies an extreme and I didn't view your remarks above as "extreme". Nevertheless, I got the FLAVOR of "AGAINST". Perhaps my skills at identifying a thread that is "biased AGAINST" need sharpening.

          Anyway, I see that Marko has started a new thread for questions about WOT and also Sami has apparently agreed to answer some of the questions. Sami knows MUCH more about WOT than I do, and I also see that Marko has said: "these guys can't reliably answer for WOT", so I'm outta' here.

          Am certainly not trying to start an unproductive dispute, just wanted to explain my remarks since they seem to have struck a nerve.

          #35 Claw

            Platinum Poster!

          • Advanced Member
          • 252 posts

            Posted 16 December 2011 - 08:59 AM

            Well I was out of here , but "I" would like to say thank you for your imput and your time . Like us,you stood and held your ground and I salute you for that!!!!
            Now ,,I'm really out of here!!!!


            #36 marko

              Platinum Poster!

            • Root Admin
            • 25,393 posts

              Posted 16 December 2011 - 09:26 AM

              BobJam, no-one will be jumping all over you mate, certainly not here anyhow - like you guys who frequent WOT forums, you're passionate about the site in the same way some of our guys are passionate about FBB, sometimes things get said with the best intentions then can be taken the wrong way or misinterpreted somewhat, the result and consequence being that one side thinks the other isn't listening or grasping the point being made - no harm or intentional insulting meant on both sides of the fence - I'm sure we've all got a better appreciation of each others views now and as long as debate remains rational and logical then no harm done :)

              As I said earlier, I've read through the supporting docs over at WOT and listened to the arguments given in regards to our points and they do begin to make sense once we know more abou WOT and the way it works, doesn't necessarily solve the problem, but does give us an appreciation as to how difficult or even impossible the situation is.

              #37 marko

                Platinum Poster!

              • Root Admin
              • 25,393 posts

                Posted 16 December 2011 - 12:06 PM

                View PostBobJam, on 16 December 2011 - 08:52 AM, said:

                Anyway, I see that Marko has started a new thread for questions about WOT and also Sami has apparently agreed to answer some of the questions. Sami knows MUCH more about WOT than I do, and I also see that Marko has said: "these guys can't reliably answer for WOT", so I'm outta' here.

                BobJam, just wanted to also pick up on your statement there - before I said that I also said the following:

                Quote

                Rationally speaking, the attitudes and views of the few on the WOT thread don't obviously account for the majority of users, like mine, their views are personal and although they may have the edge on the WOT forums through their own experiences, I'm not sure or not whether this quantifies them as experts. Likewise, I'd never claim to be such either, not on the subject of WOT anyway!!.

                Before I realised that "sami" was the co-founder of WOT I assumed he was simply a participant of WOT, like everyone else - there is nothing particularly identifiable on usernames within the forums to say who they are or what level of expertise they have on WOT - therefore one has to assume we're dealing with other WOT users. If I'd have had some idea on who I was talking with on the WOT forum, thing most probably would have been said differently, and not because sami was the co-founder or anything like that, but purely because I would have then realised the experience and understanding such a person would have on their own site - similarly, most would probably appreciate I knew FreewareBB better than anyone being the founder.

                I always attempt to explain my actions or words to give the best possibly chance of others knowing where I'm coming from and rarely make a comment which can be considered unfair or unwarranted - if I did, or at least gave that impression, then I would wholeheartedly expect to be questioned about it, in much the way you have just done above and I hope my explanation clarifies where I was coming from on that one :)

                #38 James (Jim) Hillier

                  Platinum Poster!

                • Super Mod
                • 847 posts

                  Posted 16 December 2011 - 02:57 PM

                  @BobJam - Hey mate, you were in no way abrasive, not as far as I am concerned anyway. You were merely putting your point of view forward, no problem.

                  Those comments made by me did appear to be aimed at WOT, yes conceded. But I can assure you that the WOT name had absolutely nothing to do with it. I make exactly the same observations and comments about the other big name in site ratings. The difference being that we (I in particular) have come to rely on WOT more than any other service and WOT has been utilized here on FreewareBB for many years. Had the shoe been on the other foot, with MSA predominantly involved, I would have made the exact same statements including the exact same criticisms aimed at MSA. It is not the name, it is the system I am unhappy with - hope that helps clarify.

                  @AlphaCentauri - First up I'd like to thank you once again for your sane and erudite input.

                  Quote

                  You don't start with 100% and get rated down; you start somewhere in the middle and get pulled up by good ratings.
                  Really!! That's a complete surprise to me. - why on earth would WOT do that? It's akin to being guilty until proven innocent. Would it not be a much more equitable policy to start everyone off (talking mainly about newly created sites) with an 80 to 90% rating and add or deduct from there? I mean, DCT has been established since around 2006 and maintained a clean sheet during that whole time yet in 5 years we have only manged to climb to some 77% average. Blimey, at that rate, by the time we get anywhere near 90% I'll be long gone!

                  @Marko - Hey mate, this is all very interesting isn't it!

                  Quote

                  Jim, I think your point also actually proves the WOT system can work in favour of a site sometimes, rather than against it?.

                  We'll always have those people who will rate a site bad for no reason, or think they've found a genuine reason to rate a site negatively, but the comment you refer to has had 5 "thumbs down" meaning others obviously think that statement is rubbish, as such those who gave the thumbs down probably also rated the site positively which would have the effect of cancelling out any negative ratings from that particular user
                  Mate, I think you may have missed my point. I fully understand the implications and what you are saying. I published that example merely to display the mentality of some people who actually vote and comment on WOT. This is the vulnerability involved in relying largely on user input - there's always going to be a percentage of nincompoops and miscreants who are going to make silly ratings and comment accordingly. I understand WOT does its very best to keep that percentage to a minimum but we, you, I, and the vast majority of WOT users have absolutely no idea what those numbers might be.

                  I'll tell you something else mate, something I have learned from many years experience: satisfied people with no axe to grind and no complaints to make are generally the silent majority - it's those who feel they have been hard done by, have an axe to grind or are just plain cantankerous that usually make the most noise. :)

                  Cheers all...Jim
                  Jim Hillier - Managing editor Daves Computer Tips.com

                  #39 marko

                    Platinum Poster!

                  • Root Admin
                  • 25,393 posts

                    Posted 16 December 2011 - 03:58 PM

                    Well I certainly can't disagree with your last sentence Jimbo, that's truly a given - and I'm still trying to get my head around WOT (there is certainly a lot to get round believe me) but from what I understand, WOT themselves realise that their system isn't perfect - it could certainly be the case that if a trusted member came along and voted a site negatively and unnecessarily then that site could find themselves with warnings displayed on the WOT system, including the add-on. However, what WOT say is simply that if a member does this, whereas the site is rated differently by other members then their system will consider that a little suspicious - so for example, the guy who rated DCT negatively has quite possibly lost his credibility as far as WOT are concerned due to the majority of other comments and ratings being positive ones. In other words, he sticks out like a sore thumb and is quite obviously wrong, therefore his rating for DCT and quite possibly other sites will no longer bear any weight or credibility. This would be especially true if his other ratings were of a similar nature (i.e. contrary to other, possibly more trusted members).

                    At the end of the day, WOT has to trust someone to get it right - they realise that they don't have all the answers and their system is far from perfect, but as I said earlier in the thread, I think knowing what I know now, they've been the only site advisory site to at least bring in methods and automated algorithms which can and do pick up (even if it's eventually rather than instantly) fake ratings and will hold those people accountable by reducing what effect they have on previous and future site ratings ...... (I think!) :)

                    Oh no, I've just thought of another idea based on that then !! Automatically remove the comments and ratings for those people found to be rating in an unusual or unorthodox manner !! I'm running for the hills !! (unless they already do remove them of course!) :girl_cray2: :flag_of_truce:

                    #40 Claw

                      Platinum Poster!

                    • Advanced Member
                    • 252 posts

                      Posted 16 December 2011 - 04:34 PM

                      Wonderful,,another idea. Slow your brain down just a little before you wipe out on the turn!!Lol!! The whole matter makes a little sense if you think on it Really Hard !! Doesn't mean it's right, but it just may be incapable to improve upon!! With the huge advances we've made in the technical field, it still all comes down to "ordinary people" going on what they "believe" to be Good or Bad , Right or Wrong !! Is there a better way?? Possibly !! Will there ever be a better way?? Possibly !! We will never find true answers to the questions if everyone "excepts" the way it is now,,,,,and Never questions or inquires on the , "WHO,WHY,and HOW decisions are arrived at. In all fairness to "ALL" sites out there,,the questions should really have an answer !!!!








                      1 user(s) are reading this topic

                      0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users