WOT is UNACCEPTABLY red-blocking the ENTIRE members.tripod.com domain again!

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Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:58 pm

WOT is UNACCEPTABLY red-blocking the ENTIRE members.tripod.com domain again!

Post by amby » Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:58 pm

Dammit, they've done it again! WOT should be ashamed of their organization's unacceptable over-generalization and sloth!

They've placed a domain-wide block on the ENTIRE members.tripod.com domain! WOT has NO JUSTIFICATION TO DO THAT! If users have reported malware or fraud or other truly serious crimes with specific pages in that domain, they should BLOCK THE SPECIFIC SITES ONLY!

(Can you tell from the tedious caps and bold shouting that I'm fightin' mad?)

And I certainly hope WOT won't try to argue as fallaciously as they did the last time by telling me that I can simply press the "allow" link and continue. That is not the point! The point is that others won't even know that my particular site is harmless, because the unconscionable domain-wide blocking applies equally to every site!

There is NOTHING objectionable with MY site, http://members.tripod.com/~ssehome/

It is the number one site with similar contents and of its genre (scientific satire) in the entire English-speaking world according to Yahoo and Alta Vista and other search engines, so hundreds of people who -- stupidly, it now appears -- use WOT will refuse to visit my site! That is simply unacceptable!

And WOT knows it's unacceptable, because when they first did this same thing a month ago, I complained and then they removed the block from the entire domain and only blocked specific sites that had problems, which is the ONLY responsible and legal thing you can do.

Why have they reversed their wise decision to remove the domain-wide block?

Please, PLEASE either fix the problem as you did the last time or explain to me exactly why you're too lazy to block sites individually.

Good day.

- Martin Bush

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Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:43 am

Let's be friends

Post by Sami » Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:46 pm

Yes, I can tell you're mad. I'm also sensing that you may have failed to understand how WOT works, although I did my best to explain it to you the first time you contacted us three weeks ago. I'm glad to see you haven't lost your fighting spirit and litigious attitude despite my failure to address your concerns.

Please let me recap some of the points I tried to make earlier:
  • We don't place "domain-wide blocks" or set ratings arbitrarily. Our users rate websites, we compute reputations from the ratings and show you the results on the add-on. As more ratings come in, reputations will fluctuate accordingly.
  • This means that if you disagree with a site's reputation, you should always give your own rating. I'm not sure if I can emphasize this enough. This is the only way to affect the ratings. Sending us multiple angry rants through all available channels rarely helps. So, [url=https://www.mywot.com'/en/support/howtorate' t=_self]watch the video[/url], open the rating window, and off you go!
  • Our software doesn't block access to websites unless you have specifically requested this. You can always bypass the warnings and blocking by giving your own rating. Users who would rather not be bothered at all when visiting sites of questionable reputation can also turn off any annoyances from the settings.
  • We rate domains, not individual pages. We understand this impedes our ability to accurately rate each page on a shared domain, but I assure you it has nothing to do with us being lazy. This may change in future, but for now, we actually have [url=https://www.mywot.com'/en/forum/734#comment-906' t=_self]good reasons[/url] for rating only domains.
  • In the mean while, if you don't want your site's reputation to be tarnished when other users on the same domain put up scam sites, distribute malware, and engage in other illegal activities that might hurt the domain's vendor reliability, you may want to consider registering your own domain name. This is already very popular among other sites that are number one in their genres.
If you have any further concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us. We would be delighted to straighten out any remaining misunderstandings.

Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:58 pm

Thanks for not being angry in return. Let's be friends, then.

Post by amby » Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:11 pm

First, I wish to apologize for being so angry and hostile. I'm sure you can understand how that can come to pass when I'm suddenly struck with a "dangerous" rating and a red block for my completely gentle and innocent web site, especially when this is the second time this happened in a single month -- while in the intervening period it seemed you fixed the problem. I would never have even known if I had not merely happened to have inadvertently clicked a link to my own site.

So as new friends, let's go through a few of your points.

(1) This suggests that there are some actual users who found my site, specifically, objectionable. Since it is an extremely gentle, courteous site with not even a hint of the gentlest foul language, I cannot see how that can be. Do you investigate such accusation before applying a block? Since my site is a gentle spoof of a popular pseudo-scientific organization, could it be possible that any complaints came from vindictive pseudo-scientific fans? I raise this last because suddenly, my Google ranking has plummeted from the number one spot it held for many years to an absurd ranking lower by hundreds, even though it remains number one on all other major search engines. In other words, perhaps there's a vendetta against my site, and these people have chosen to report me for some false, fabricated reasons to both Google and WOT. Could this be what is happening?

(4) While there may be good reasons for rating domains, doing so in such a way that every single site in that domain can become blocked as "dangerous" for no valid reason, is no way to run a ship. Surely you must agree with that!

(5) That's just not feasible. Thousands of other sites link there and have for many years, so that's just not an option.

I have just supplied my own rating. I would have done so previously, but I did indeed misunderstand both just how to do it and also I doubted that it would make much -- if any -- difference for other users. How likely is that to make a big difference for future visitors?

In closing, I wish to sincerely apologize again for my unseemly and unkind outbursts. They embarrass me now, as they should.

Good day to you, most sincerely this time!

Posts: 6987
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:43 am


Post by Sami » Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:20 am

1. Users who have rated members.tripod.com didn't necessarily think your page was objectionable, they could have rated the domain based on [url=https://www.mywot.com'http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Amembers.tripod.com' t=_self]some of the other pages[/url] hosted there. We obviously don't evaluate each user rating manually, but manipulation attempts are automatically detected and ratings won't be shown unless they are thought to be reliable enough. Of course, we still thoroughly investigate any [url=https://www.mywot.com'/en/support/feedback/abuse' t=_self]abuse reports[/url].

4. I agree, it's not an optimal situation for shared domains, but still, this does model what happens in real life rather faithfully. For example, if you set up a business in a shady part of town, your reputation is going to suffer in people's minds simply because of the neighborhood. Similarly here, if you host your website on a domain that also hosts dangerous content, your site's reputation suffers just the same.

5. If you decide to move your site elsewhere some day, you can always [url=https://www.mywot.com'http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/URL_redirection' t=_self]redirect your users[/url] to the new site.

It seems that the vendor reliability rating for members.tripod.com has been hovering on the border of poor and unsatisfactory for a while, so I'm sure every rating counts. At the moment, it's [url=https://www.mywot.com'/bookmarklet/members.tripod.com' t=_self]back on the yellow[/url] again.

Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:53 pm

Looks good

Post by heeger » Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:33 pm

I didn't find any aspect of the site objectionable. I gave it a good rating.

Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:29 pm

Granularity in URL

Post by isaacmarcos » Wed Jan 23, 2008 3:24 am

Yes, i agree with the "neighborhood" idea of affecting pages because of the domain.
Yes, the trust that should be put on a domain that allows bad behavior (scams, spy ware, etc. --as is the case with some tripod pages--) should be low, even near to reject such domains.
Yes, more granularity for all domains would affect all your business. More costs would be involved as more traffic would be needed.

But, as you have said: "no matter what we chose, some compromises have to be made".
Now: we are compromising to NOT have a detailed picture of mixed domains. Places where good and bad things coexist. Domains where responsible parties are DIFFERENT individuals. Individuals with different interests. Not all good, some bad. A question naturally comes to my mind, Is there a better way?

Future: Could you compromise?. Here is my proposal:
Give ONE more level of granularity ONLY on shared domains.

Shared domains are known, not that many. Increase in traffic would be minimum . All parties would reach a better compromise.

Posts: 6987
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:43 am

Re: Granularity in URL

Post by Sami » Thu Jan 24, 2008 9:42 pm

Thanks for your input. We are monitoring the situation and if the granularity in naming becomes a major problem, I'm sure we'll act on it. Including the beginning of the path in the name on shared sites is a viable option. I'm afraid there are a lot more shared domains than one might suspect though, so building a comprehensive list may not be entirely trivial.

Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:29 pm

Re:Granularity in URL

Post by isaacmarcos » Sat Jan 26, 2008 3:15 am

Thanks Sami for your interest in this.

I believe your system is a service, as a service, it should tend to "service" those who ask for it (please excuse the repetition). Set up a pilot, let the users that are in need ask to be included. Set rules for acepting sites and in no time you would be servicing most of your users.
I don't see that creating a comprehensive list must be done beforehand. Apply a "80-20" rule (80 percent of the results come from 20 percent of the effort).

And let it grow on "as needed" basis measuring the number of requests from your users.

Just my two cents worth of help.

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