Ratings based on Political views

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MattJacobs
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:26 am

Ratings based on Political views

Post by MattJacobs » Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:26 am

I've been using WOT for a while now, and have already noticed a disturbing trend, liberal sites are being marked poorly by conservatives, and conservative sites are being marked poorly by liberals. When I downloaded this app, I was under the impression that it was meant to give users a way of seeing whether or not a site was safe, not of seeing what the userbase thought of one political view or another. It seems as of late, that any site with any possible political connection is taking the downboat to oblivion, and it's happening on both sides of the fence. I'm seriously thinking about deleting this app, since I need an unbiased view of a website's safety, not a biased view from a userbase that in part thinks that any website that disagrees with the view they hold must be dangerous. I didn't download WOT to watch people argue over politics, politicians, or hot button topics, I downloaded it to measure the safety of sites. I haven't been here long enough to know if this is a new issue or an old one, but I will say that I'd rather just gauge a sites safety on my own than deal with this partisan political crap. Hopefully it's just a recent problem that will sort itself out, but seriously, this is a community mostly made up of grown adults, not toddlers, so for goodness sake, please, remember to leave the three taboo subjects out of rating decisions, and in case someone isn't familiar with them "sex, politics, and religion" After all, I'm no more likely to get a virus from the 'blank' party than I am another, and just because someone doesn't agree with an opinion, does not mean that the site hosting is presents a danger.

Apollo702
Posts: 1213
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:40 pm

RE: Ratings based on Political views

Post by Apollo702 » Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:28 am

There are plenty of services for people to choose from that only determine if a site has malware and completely ignore other factors such as privacy, content, design...

The WOT community is generally going to take all of those kinds of factors into account. Many of the experienced members will give good ratings to things that they disagree with and downgrade things that they agree with. It entirely depends on what they are doing and how they go about it.

What sites should not bank on is if they hide behind things like religion or politics and then use it as an excuse to engage in behavior such as lying, hatred, scams, discrimination... the community is probably not going to just sit back and shut up because the site doesn't have viruses. That isn't how WOT works.

Myxt
Posts: 4133
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:18 am

RE: Ratings based on Political views

Post by Myxt » Fri Sep 25, 2015 6:48 am

If it matters, I have used BitDefender's Traffic Light, Kaspersky's URLAdvisor, McAfee's SiteAdvisor, etc, each of which flags its own variously distinct or overlapping categories of black-listed domains, with corresponding gaps of no data.

When, out of curiosity, I ran them all simultaneously with the WoT browser add-on in search results, web pages, and so on, I was both amused and disappointed at the glaring lack of uniformity of the flags. So I repeatedly took selections of red, yellow, and green sites and manually tested them with my usual suite of ~100 vendors (including aggregators and real-time scanners).

Then, ignoring the sites WoT had flagged only for reasons (there are more than 3 "taboos") unrelated to technical safety, I found that WoT had the most consistent accuracy and flagged the greatest number of technically dangerous sites, about half of which had no rating or were green or occasionally yellow according to the other vendors, as well as consistency for technically safe sites.

That said, I am probably not like the OP. I research unfamiliar sites before I visit them, rather than relying upon any browser add-on to cover my assets. Speaking of which, I run a continuously updated full suite of strong security software. No browser add-on can provide that critical level of protection.

MattJacobs
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:26 am

RE: Ratings based on Political views

Post by MattJacobs » Sat Sep 26, 2015 9:38 am

A. "What sites should not bank on is if they hide behind things like religion or politics and then use it as an excuse to engage in behavior such as lying, hatred, scams, discrimination... the community is probably not going to just sit back and shut up because the site doesn't have viruses. That isn't how WOT works."

The problem is, that these days people find a reason to call anything hate or discrimination, and contrary to popular belief, disagreeing with a topic, or holding dissenting views doesn't necessarily constitute hate or discrimination. I'm of the old school though, and go by the whole "I don't agree with what you say, but I'll defend your right to say it" philosophy... Though groups like the KKK and Black Panthers could legitimately be tagged under hate speech, the websites of political candidates might not should be, unless of course Hitler or Stalin ran for office, which would be hard for dead men. Seriously though, there are certain things we can all agree have no place on the internet, others however are up for debate, and often considered more a matter of opinion than general consensus. Groups like ISIS often say people who disagree with them are hatemongers, but I certainly wouldn't want every site who spoke against them red flagged because a bunch of their members down-voted them, but that is exactly the kind of problem we face, is who decides what constitutes an opinion and what constitutes legitimate hate or discrimination. I don't agree with people using the internet to spread evil, but I also don't agree with people giving a site a bad reputation simply because they disagree with the opinions presented. There is a reason for that "Opinions, politics, religion" tag, it's to tell people that a site is safe, but that interpretation depends on how a person views the political or religious opinions presented. I visit sites all the time that I don't agree with, some that I find quite distasteful or even offensive, but when it comes down to the rating, unless it's some Neo-Nazi site or the Westboro people, I generally just click on that "Opinions, politics, religion" button, because my disagreeing with an opinion doesn't make it hate-speech or discrimination.

B. "That said, I am probably not like the OP. I research unfamiliar sites before I visit them, rather than relying upon any browser add-on to cover my assets. Speaking of which, I run a continuously updated full suite of strong security software. No browser add-on can provide that critical level of protection."

I use the Comodo Internet Security Suite, Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit, Several Iolo tools, and a few other apps, I mainly installed WOT for quick identification of links, since I really don't have time to manually check every link, and my machine isn't powerful enough to run 100+ tools simultaneously (Seriously, you must have a monster rig). And the three taboos I mentioned are the most commonly mentioned, as three topics you should never bring up if you want to keep friends, since very seldom do people agree on them, and quite often have strong opinions of them.

NotBuyingIt
Posts: 6506
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:21 pm

RE: Ratings based on Political views

Post by NotBuyingIt » Sat Sep 26, 2015 12:35 pm

@MattJacobs, Welcome to the WOT users' community forums. Are you aware that you can simply override having WOT warn you about a particular site by rating it for yourself?

I, too, notice the term "hate speech" being over used in popular parlance. Nevertheless, it is internationally recognised as an important and urgent issue, despite having very different legal definitions in different countries. The WOT founders have stated that many users seemed to find the "Hate, discrimination" category useful, so one doubts that it will be dropped. This category encompasses much more than "hate speech" and users may appropriately select the category without implying that hate speech is involved.

You don't seem aware that WOT employs statistical measures to suppress the bias of individual ratings when it calculates a site's reputation. Its algorithms perform better when more users have contributed ratings, so WOT scorecards display an estimation of the reliability of each reputation. Perhaps unlike you, my impression is that users whose scorecard comments are typically bombastic, political diatribes very seldom seem to have any significant influence upon sites' reputations. (Read the FAQ.)

Yet, since the ratings are based largely on crowd sourcing, we should expect highly "controversial" sites to usually have less favorable reputations and to sometimes have unfavorable reputations. If you do not wish to tolerate this aspect of crowd sourcing, then the WOT rating system is not for you.

If you wish to argue that a particular website has an erroneous reputation, you are welcomed to begin a discussion in the Reputations forum (or join a discussion if one has already been established for that site). To prepare, you may wish to review the WOT guidelines, FAQ and Wiki. Also read other discussions to get an idea what the expect.



MattJacobs
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:26 am

RE: Ratings based on Political views

Post by MattJacobs » Sat Sep 26, 2015 1:17 pm

I already have unfortunately figured out to expect, after reading through the comments of the very first person to reply. I noticed that they like lumping entire groups of people into one pile, and putting that pile into the 'hate' group. I've long called myself non-partisan for such reasons, because people like the first commenter like to make sweeping judgements on entire groups, in their case it's the thought that all conservatives are racist, an odd thought considering that half the conservatives I've met were minorities... I never have liked hate from anyone, but this site seems to not only tolerate it, but endorse it. It's sad too, that a person can constantly call an entire group of people racist, when that particular word only describes a small subset, and the administration ignores such a thing, yet when someone calls into question the idea of the possible abuse of the 'hate' tag, people quickly become quite defensive. I've always enjoyed seeing a double standard in action though, yep he can call an entire group of people what he wants, he has that right, even if it isn't true. No, it's not okay to suggest that maybe just maybe it's not kosher to tag sites under hate speech just because some people disagree with them. No wonder people here get defensive whenever someone brings this topic up, I'm surprised that WOT hasn't gotten a few of those hate tags after reading many of the comments that have been posted, and defended. So many people here are full of hate, and look for opportunities to let it out, just like the first commenter, who if you'll look through their log has used every opportunity to spread their political opinion... So much for unbiased views these days, this non-partisan has looked for such a place forever, and will likely never find it. Because truth has no value anymore, it's not about what's right, it's about what's popular, and what's popular depends on what a person likes. Me, I like the truth, whether I like it or not, such as the notion that one person shouldn't get away with spreading false stereotypes, while everyone that brings the subject up is met with such resistance. You're right, WOT isn't right for me, I was looking for a source of unbiased information on website safety, and instead found yet another place that doesn't know the meaning of hypocrisy. I'll be uninstalling the plugin, it's of no use to me, I've already seen what this place is all about, and want nothing to do with it. Thanks for reminding me about what's wrong with the world, sacrificing truth to please opinion, after all, who cares if I see a yellow tag every time I run across a politically oriented website, that's not nearly a important as the stereotypes that can be spread about people. That's the hard part of my life, I don't take any side but the truth, and in the end, no one cares about that anymore...

NotBuyingIt
Posts: 6506
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:21 pm

RE: Ratings based on Political views

Post by NotBuyingIt » Sat Sep 26, 2015 2:12 pm

<quote user="mattjacobs">
You're right, WOT isn't right for me, I was looking for a source of unbiased information on website safety, and instead found yet another place that doesn't know the meaning of hypocrisy. I'll be uninstalling the plugin, it's of no use to me, I've already seen what this place is all about, and want nothing to do with it.... I don't take any side but the truth, and in the end, no one cares about that anymore[/quote]In the theory of crowd sourcing (e.g., site reputations), there's the concept that out of the opinions of millions of other people, one might somehow find some elements of truth which one previously had not known. Sorry you didn't find what you're looking for, MattJacobs, but I agree that your decision to uninstall the WOT plugin is right for you. Still, it's unfortunate that you are "lumping entire groups of people into one pile" when you accuse others of doing the same thing.


Apollo702
Posts: 1213
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:40 pm

RE: Ratings based on Political views

Post by Apollo702 » Sun Sep 27, 2015 1:13 am

I am going to close this out and give you no more attention. You can write all you want and I done. You don't know my politics and I wont shut up to please you.

Have a nice day and best wishes.

Site-rater
Posts: 5797
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:48 pm

RE: Ratings based on Political views

Post by Site-rater » Wed Sep 30, 2015 12:43 pm

When I rated some NBC properties red, it was for a case of copyright infringement against a well-known YouTube user where they copied his videos without permission and stripped out the watermarks, and a case where NBC's Today Show had a segment that defamed the manufacturer of Tannerite Binary Exploding Targets, incorrectly claiming their product was suitable for terrorist weapons.
No political motivations, only the illegal acts committed by these reporters.

redblade7
Posts: 520
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:18 am

RE: Ratings based on Political views

Post by redblade7 » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:34 pm

It is for this and other reasons that I never use or promote the WOT addon. myWOT.com is best as a "site review" place or to look up the legitimacy or ethical practices of an institution, whether online or off.

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