Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 06, 2016, 10:01:00 AM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Last post Author Topic: myWOT uninstall nightmare  (Read 7624 times)

Vurbal

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2012
  • **
  • Posts: 635
  • Mostly harmless
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: myWOT uninstall
« Reply #25 on: December 09, 2013, 06:17:37 PM »
I used WOT for a while last year and had mixed feelings about its usefulness. Then I started seeing the troubling criticisms and got rid of it. I can say for sure that not all WOT ratings have the problems people have been talking about, which isn't an excuse of course. The apparent issues which have cropped up are significant.

The bigger issue, though, and the reason WOT seems like it was always doomed to failure, is that it really isn't a web of trust at all. If you're not familiar with the web of trust security model it's easy to miss the distinction. WOT's fundamental problem is that ultimately there is a single authority at the top with the power to approve or veto all decisions.

An actual web of trust, whether it's a network of public PGP keyservers or a heirarchy of DNSSEC nameservers, is only as reliable as the democratization of authority. Let's say, for example, there was a PGP server which ignored key revocation and continued to verify those keys as being valid. Over time the other servers in the web could stop communicating with it and sooner or later it would die, for lack of a better term.

Like most things in the real world, WOT involves competing interests. The interests of most users would be to get reliable information about the safety and reliability of a website. The users who have gained more prestige in the system OTOH have an interest in being more equal than all the other animals. And of course WOT's owner gains most if the breadth and depth of site rankings grows exponentially since that's what makes it useful - or not.

If WOT were simply using some standard protocol and their plugin allowed users to choose to get their information from competing servers it would give the community at large leverage to hold those competing interests at bay. In other words it would be a competing market force - in this case in a marketplace of ideas. When it became public knowledge that the system was being rigged to whatever extent people could simply change servers and either WOT would straighten out or lose out.

Without that counter to the inevitable human tendency for the people at the top to game the system in order to maintain their position, a service like WOT will always be doomed to failure. And generally sooner rather than later.
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

Jibz

  • Developer
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,126
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: myWOT uninstall
« Reply #26 on: December 17, 2013, 02:54:16 AM »
As for #2, i do think WOT can be gamed, and probably *is* being gamed -- though not nearly as much as most of the damn internet services we use every day.  every major successfull (and trying to be successful) internet service is gamed to high heaven, both from inside the company -- to fakely inflate the apparent popularity, and by external people who pay to have fake accounts and content and upvotes and likes, etc.  It's the nature of our current system that such gaming takes place and has become a solid business model.  it sucks.  It's fair to complain when companies encourage this or don't do much about it.  I don't know enough about WOT to judge them on this.

Like most things in the real world, WOT involves competing interests. The interests of most users would be to get reliable information about the safety and reliability of a website. The users who have gained more prestige in the system OTOH have an interest in being more equal than all the other animals. And of course WOT's owner gains most if the breadth and depth of site rankings grows exponentially since that's what makes it useful - or not.

WOT is one of those things that work great in theory, but has some problems in practice because humans are, well, human.

Take for instance one of my sites, which has been a home for some of my software projects over the past ten years. If you google the site with WOT installed, you see a yellow circle warning you that the site is not trustworthy, not safe for children, and contains "hate, discrimination". All of this is based on a grand total of two ratings.

If you have enough people rating a site, then the numbers should even out the people who may have a special interest. Not only the ones who are somehow affiliated with (or paid by) a site or it's competitors, but also the people who rate sites with little or no effort to actually check their claims, in order to increase their rating score on WOT.

To some degree, I can understand if some companies were tempted to try to balance out such bogus ratings.

That being said, I have found WOT to be helpful in many cases, but I think it is important to check the scorecards to see what a given rating is based on.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2013, 02:59:18 AM by Jibz »

bit

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2013
  • **
  • Posts: 686
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: myWOT uninstall
« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2013, 11:25:40 AM »
myWOT has a select few elite super users, as per this link, at which the following picture giving stats on 'SuperHero58' was found;
superhero58.jpg

and one rating by one of them counts for something like 100 'normal' ratings.
It's all spelled out in one of the above link.
Either that, or they can rate 100 different places at once.
As per the picture taken from the link, SuperHero58 is one busy scavenger.
And these 'super users' can wipe out 'normal' ratings of contradictory nature.
So yes, it is being 'gamed', no question.

Besides that, myWOT is trying to 'monetize' and get financial sponsors, and the whole thing is becoming 'bought & sold'.

Also, at the above link, the guy complaining and revealing all this, had his website given a negative score.
So he ran a 'test', not to do it, but to prove a point; he posted an offer to pay anyone who could reverse his score ratings, and he got offers from at least two different people who promised that for X-dollars, they would put their multi-bot myWOT memberships to work pumping up super-score positives for his website.

Is my reporting fair enough?
Check the above link; you'll find it all spelled out there in all its glorious detail.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2013, 11:49:03 AM by bit »