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Ask WOT a question

ask wot question web of trust

11 replies to this topic

#1 marko

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    Posted 15 December 2011 - 10:44 AM

    As you may already know, we've previously debated some of the WOT ratings in great details, with one particular thread attracting quite a bit of attention and although some of us have taken away a better understand, and quite possibly more appreciation of the WOT system, the fact remains there are still some unanswered questions regarding matters such as why would someone rate a site negatively but not leave a comment to backup their ratings?.

    Well, hopefully these and any other questions you would like to throw at WOT will be answered directly by Sami Tolvanen, the CTO and co-founder of WOT itself. We contacted WOT and they have kindly agreed to review any questions posted here and provide the answers. As you would expect, Sami is a very busy man and quite possibly won't be able to participate directly in the thread itself but we'll throw open the doors to any questions you may have and we'll close this thread on Monday 19th December (23:59) at which time we'll choose around 10 questions (should there be more than 10) for Sami to respond to.

    I'm sure you'll all agree that his acceptance of this invitation is commendable as most other site advisories wouldn't entertain the idea of accepting questions directly in this way and although there are many FAQ's to be found on WOT, I'm hoping that Sami can enlighten us all to some of the mysterious workings of WOT and clear up any misunderstanding we may have over the service.

    Please post only ONE question at a time, and do be aware that if we, or anyone else, can offer the answer immediately, we will attempt do so, otherwise, if picked to go forward to Sami, hopefully he can answer it.

    Please do take this unique opportunity to ask a serious, well thought-out answer as it will most probably only happen once in our lifetime.

    I've also included some links below to WOT's FAQ's and other support area's:


    #2 marko

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      Posted 15 December 2011 - 10:54 AM

      So, I guess I can start the ball rolling then by asking the question I asked above, and over on the WOT forum itself.

      There seems to be a great deal of debate and some confusion on how WOT sometimes comes to conclusion it does on various sites. One example would be where we ourselves have banned a developer from our own site because we found they were distributing software which contained viruses and despite many negative comments, and presumably negative ratings from those commenting, ours included, the site is still rated as "Good". Surely in this case where there are a lot of negative ratings and comments it would be beneficial for a human from WOT to intervene and investigate the site, or at the very least some of the claims being made?.

      #3 google

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        Posted 15 December 2011 - 11:44 AM

        Anything which largely relies on user input is open to a vast deal of interpretation, misinterpretation and scrutiny and while we know WOT has their own method of making sure ratings are as accurate as possible, are there any plans to try and tighten up or improve the system in any way?

        #4 FutureShock

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          Posted 15 December 2011 - 12:40 PM

          I have used WOT for years with Internet Explorer, and it has been a real plus. Anti-virus protection has improved dramatically over the last several years, and I believe I can say with much confidence that it is safe to surf the web. Thanks to you and the devoted employees at WOT.

          My question is:
          With even faster computers and connection speeds on the horizon for PC users, what does WOT see as its role in the future of the ever changing internet community?

          #5 Claw

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            Posted 15 December 2011 - 04:57 PM

            Thank you for your time. What I would like to know is,,. "What could you show as the deciding factor that would assure the user of WOTs "trustworthiness" and "knowledge" in their rating system technique"?

            #6 jazee

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              Posted 15 December 2011 - 07:10 PM

              Who decides where to draw the line on WOT?. Lets take an example: IOBit were accused of stealing malwarebytes database and now comments are disabled for IOBit. I know when something is controversial WOT will disable ratings but how do you guys come to the decision of when to stop people commenting, when is enough, enough?

              #7 James (Jim) Hillier

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                Posted 15 December 2011 - 10:23 PM

                Hi Sami - Thank you for responding so positively, your input is much appreciated.

                Seems we may have given the impression we are anti-WOT or dislike WOT, nothing could be further from the truth. It is because we are long time WOT users who have grown to rely on your service that these questions have arisen - because we are WOT fans not because we are WOT bashers!

                Anyway, here are my questions: Whenever WOT rates a site negatively that is a slur, an accusation that the owners/administrators behavior is in some way unethical or dishonest, and interacting with the site involves a degree of risk. If that rating is not accurate then WOT is needlessly damaging that site's reputation. Do you not think that, in the interests of fair play and equity, the negative ratings should be accompanied by some sort of substantiating evidence?

                From my point of view, it is not enough to merely 'trust WOT', I want to know why a site has been rated that way. A large part of my workload involves checking out software and sites, I visit dozens of sites each and every day. Many sites I visit are rated Amber by WOT yet Green by every other SA who has submitted a rating. In cases such as these someone has to be wrong - it's as simple as that. Now, considering WOT is the lone detractor and in the absence of any substantiating evidence to the contrary, is it not reasonable to assume it is WOT who must be wrong?

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

                #8 BobC

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                  Posted 18 December 2011 - 06:56 AM

                  I use WOT for all my browsers. However, I'm not sure that I can believe its ratings on some sites (supposedly reputable). In the past I have checked out things on Snopes (it has been quite a while). At one time when I searched, it would throw up a pop-up for Netflix that would get flagged as RED. Since I don't deal with Netflix, it was not a problem. However, I can't believe Netflix would get a RED flag!!! There have also been other sites where a yellow flag is shown. Now I can understand if a site has an "adult" section (e.g., Craigslist), but I would think that the "general sections" plus the main site would be flagged green. Likewise with download sites. Some are flagged yellow and red and are not known to be malicious sites. I can understand if a site allows pirated software to be downloaded or is careless about checking "uploads" for viruses, malware, etc. - but that should be part of the "warning" - the reason for the Red or Yellow flag. I recall a while back where I e-mailed Marko that one of the download sites in his list was flagged Red and Marko checked it out and vouched for it. I have also had the problem with CNET on occasion. While WOT seems to be a decent guideline, it is not always sufficient and specific.

                  #9 AlphaCentauri

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                    Posted 19 December 2011 - 02:59 AM

                    Netflix has a good rating now, but I'm not surprised to hear it had been red in the past. At least in the past, some of their marketing affiliates were involved in spamming and unsavory marketing schemes. I haven't had any spam for anything involving Netflix in years, though, so I suspect they got control of the problem.

                    #10 marko

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                      Posted 20 December 2011 - 01:05 PM

                      This thread is now locked to further replies - I've sent off a handful of questions to WOT based on feedback and some questions raised here and on the other thread relating to whether WOT can be considered reliable. Hopefully we'll see a response very shortly and I'll raise a new thread as and when the responses come in :)

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