strengths and the weaknesses of the WOT system

Syma
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:26 pm

strengths and the weaknesses of the WOT system

Post by Syma » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:26 pm

Hi WOT,

I'm an active WOT user since 2010, and I know the strengths and the weaknesses of the WOT system.

Here is an extrem example how an old forum comment destroy the online reputation of a website: www.anti-spy.info
Oh, yes the domain name sound suspicious, and the WOT rating is deep red:
https://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/anti-spy.info

But what are the reasons for this current bad rating? An 3 year old comment on the WOT forum, all WOT members referred to it.
And because of this bad WOT rating, Webutation.com gives also a bad rating, and because of the bad Webutation.com rating, virustotal.com gives a bad rating.
But the site is clean, and has a clean Windows task manager (maybe a little bit outdated).
See
http://www.urlvoid.com/scan/anti-spy.info
https://www.virustotal.com/en/url/00d9760959917e3de54faa587d69ee2aa95ae5be774e56377fc6a23054b3ed4c/analysis/

IMHO a review by an expert, and a reset of old comments for such rare cases is needed.
What is your opinion (regardless if you like the outdated software on this website or not)?

BTW: I have talked with the owner last week, and I promise to discuss this "issue" here.

Kathos
Posts: 98
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:10 pm

RE: strengths and the weaknesses of the WOT system

Post by Kathos » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:07 pm

Totally agree.

The problem with the WOT system, is when giving advice to fix sometimes reputation, because of a situation like the example above, it's not unusual that the first thing they advice is to make sure you get your name cleared elsewhere. So if you got a reputation for spam, make sure your email server is correctly setup then, request removal. If your server got infected and got labelled for sending out malware/virus', make sure your server is clean then request removal.
Either way, both these sort of process' are relatively straight forward and take a few days.

At WOT, that is not an easy option, it is the opinion of the users, WOT aren't responsible for what they say and in my experience do nothing even if you report comments, that are provable to be wrong. You do have to contact those users, be polite and ask them to re-evaluate, but that all too often does not work.
In my experience and what I have witness' here people who leave negative comments, don't very change them, I say don't often since obviously their are those that do. But it's an unnecessary lengthy process, that could be improved.

Deleting or altering just one comment won't solve the issue, since the biggest issue, is I'm perfectly aware too many, base their rating entirely upon what others have written about a site on WOT. So if you can't remove a false positive comment, that unfortunately convinces too many others to do the same rating (and maybe comment too), it becomes a compounding issue.
Which of course many of the bad ratings you can get would of been based on the bad comments said on your score card.

So I do think WOT has to make some alterations to their the rating and comment system, where their can only be 1 rating/comment per issue, So only 1 user can leave a comment on that issue. They also can't leave comments on multiple issues.
This would allow WOT to do the simplest of tasks to just make sure if a comment was off-topic, it should be removed.

So if someone flags it for Malware, you usually can't have have another user also comment/rate it for malware.
This does not stop someone for reporting it for something else, like for being suspicious or scam.
The only way another person can report it for malware, is by replacement of the existing comment, which he/she would have to have a higher "reliability" rating than the original person who commented for malware.

That in itself I'm sure would be controversial, but I've also seen platinum/gold members who have been around a long time, refuse to change their ratings, or even comment on the issue, even after other platinum/gold members have called them out on being wrong. If WOT won't do anything when comments are reported, you need a way for your users to govern themselves, based upon your own set of hidden reliability ratings. They only get a higher number, if they are proven to be be reliable in their judgement, so if they misuse it, they don't get to override (most) comment users any more, until they earn that back.

Also I do really think it be a good idea to increase the comment length required back up to a decent length. 30 characters atm is not really doing anyone justice.

As one of the other issues I've seen since coming here, is too many people rating sites with the same rating, it could cut down a lot of site comment/rating spam, if their is an issue with the site it should be clear and obvious, but easier to rectify if it is in error. Reading 10+ pages of comments, isn't always helpful. This happens on all popular sites, good, bad and controversial sites.

Syma
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:26 pm

RE: strengths and the weaknesses of the WOT system

Post by Syma » Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:00 pm

Thank you for your warm words and your support, Kathos!

Can anybody help me?

c۞g
Posts: 21225
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:02 am

RE: strengths and the weaknesses of the WOT system

Post by c۞g » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:00 pm

The majority of comments are from 4 years ago (2009) and reference MalwareDomainList blacklist.
The old ratings remain until new ones are received.
Old ratings "fade" so they're easier to change when new ratings are recorded.

@ Syma
Did you rate the site?
I notice in your [url=https://www.mywot.com/user/1787534/comments t=_self]scorecard comments[/url] you have not commented on the domain: anti-spy.info

Understand that WOT is only as "strong" or as "weak" as it's users are.
Do no rely upon WOT's current rating for a site if you disagree with it, how else would it change?

<quote user="syma">... a reset of old comments for such rare cases is needed.
What is your opinion (regardless if you like the outdated software on this website or not)?[/quote]
27 Feb 2013: [url=https://www.mywot.com/forum/32236-registered-account-proposal t=_self]registered account proposal[/url]
A year old now, but IMO worth replying to.

Kathos
Posts: 98
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:10 pm

RE: strengths and the weaknesses of the WOT system

Post by Kathos » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:53 pm

COG - I only read them briefly, but they sound like some good proposals, to help with old accounts clogging up the system, once they become inactive.

Satchman
Posts: 1163
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:08 pm

RE: strengths and the weaknesses of the WOT system

Post by Satchman » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:37 pm

My only concern is that popular Social Networking Sites are rated too highly. Facebook is a prime example of this. Facebook often caters to the younger teen crowd. The younger teen crowd would rather go to some fake Justin Bieber Facebook page, rather than care about the safety and security of their computer. Due to this practice, Facebook's Excellent rating in my view does not reflect the content of the site.

Secondly, sites that have been around for a long time and are popular are hard to rate down. For years, Cnet's download site was the place to get downloaded software, now, malware is embedded with almost every single one of their downloads in the form of toolbars and other crap. We have a topic open on the forum in the WOT community about this, and almost every recent comment about the site is negative. The sites' rating is still, Excellent. You can see for yourself here:

https://www.mywot.com/en/forum/42044-why-i-hate-download-cnet-com?comment=241070#comment-241070

Due to the fact that millions of people have rated that site, I don't think that rating is ever going to go down to, at the very least, the yellow "suspicious" rating it deserves. I have encouraged people to report the problems with the malware on the site to their browser' companies and to their virus scan companies.

My question is, what does it take to get a proven popular site with some questionable content rated down color-wise? And at the same time, if malware is proven to be removed from virtualization tests, what does it take to get a bad color WOT rating, back up to good again? The WOT administration in the FAQ specifically says that comments do not effect ratings. However, perhaps in light of the above issues, maybe a new logarithm could be developed by the WOT team where testing could be done through virtualization of computer software and say twenty five negative ratings could lower an excellent color WOT rating of Green, to Yellow for Suspicious. Fifty or more bad WOT ratings could force a WOT rating to Red for poor. Twenty five good ratings could raise a poorly rated site to suspicious. Fifty good ratings could raise a WOT rating from suspicious to excellent again. WOT would still use built-in safe guides to make sure the comments were quality, not from web-bots, and represented strong evidence for a ratings change, which would be constantly evaluated.

Right now, our WOT comments don't mean anything in a sites' ratings. I submit, maybe in a future WOT release, they should.

Satch


Syma
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:26 pm

RE: strengths and the weaknesses of the WOT system

Post by Syma » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:44 am

The WOT administration in the FAQ specifically says that comments do not effect ratings
I doubt that very much. Let's check it ;-)
Until now I have not rated the site https://www.mywot.com/scorecard/anti-spy.info
I'll rate it now as "good", because I've checked it. Maybe some other WOT member also review the site, too ...

Guest

RE: strengths and the weaknesses of the WOT system

Post by Guest » Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:24 am

@ Syma =
You are quite familiar with how WOT works and yet you have never brought the site for an evaluation or re - evaluation

The web master or the owner of the site, should have contacted the sources, where your site have been marked as malware or whatever was the issue that affected the site, before asking for a re evaluation

IMHO a review by an expert, and a reset of old comments for such rare cases is needed.

At the time, the site was evaluated and found wanting and the information used to rate the site, but if the owners do not do anything about the rating by our trusted sites, it implied that such owner feels comfortable with the present rating

What is not new is the same and old cliche, let's blame WOT, for what I failed or did not care to do in order to resolve the problem with the reputations of my site

I have seen it, so many times and as long as it "works", it would continue

I am in favor of removing the ratings of users that have not been active, for a certain amount of time, but you have made me realize that if a site, does not make any attempt to have a re evaluation, then a site that is not trusted may get a better rating, just by waiting until the reset

That is troubling

What is your opinion (regardless if you like the outdated software on this website or not)?

My advice is for the owner to contact the members that rated it red, but after contacting the sources that have rated them and ask for an evaluation to have the site removed, from their lists

Accept the fact that if someone does not like your program, they may vote against it

I hope that this information was helpful to get your site in a better level of trust

Best regards

Syma
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:26 pm

RE: strengths and the weaknesses of the WOT system

Post by Syma » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:45 am

@SuperHero58

I have talked with owner of the site. He did all the thinks which you have suggested: He tried to to find out the sources, but most old references (ex http://www.freepcsecurity.co.uk/2009/01/16/list-of-known-malicious-sites-rogue-software/#Rogue_programs ) are not more available or the bad rating is gone.
He tried also to contact the WOT member to inform they about the false positive, but no one answered.
Accept the fact that if someone does not like your program, they may vote against it
Yes, someone may vote against it, but IMO it is not okay to say it is malware or a virus! And I'm sure that the most of them have never tried this software.

The main source of this false positive is a WOT forum post:
https://www.mywot.com/en/forum/3822-over-300-new-malicious-domains-to-blacklist

But how to change this old WOT forum post?

Thank you for all your help!

Syma
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:26 pm

RE: strengths and the weaknesses of the WOT system

Post by Syma » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:49 am

@SuperHero58

I just see that you have rated the site "Malware or viruses"!
Please, please tell me Why?
You refer to http://www.freepcsecurity.co.uk/2009/01/16/list-of-known-malicious-sites-rogue-software/#Rogue_programs
But this page is not available. I tried it with Chrome and Firefox.

Why you do that?

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests