Web of Trust – WOT – Investigating Claims of Fraud, Scam, Extortion, RICO Racket – Evaluation and Review

Consumer Defense Resource Group

Introduction. Web of Trust (WOT) is an Internet safety and website rating plugin that works with most popular browsers like Firefox. In principle, the service works based on collected user reviews as well as reports from third party agencies and organizations. The Firefox download at CNET has a 5 solid star editor rating (the highest available). The MyWOT.com website reports over 37 million downloads and climbing. So… What’s not to like? Some people claim that WOT isn’t reliable and fear that it could be used as a mechanism for censorship or online retaliation. This document was created in an effort to research WOT and assess some of the negative comments people were making about it.

Summary of Findings. Like any user-community-based ranking system, manipulation of the system and exploitation of the system are difficult to prevent. In the movie Wild Hogs, a motorcycle gang takes over a small town. Similarly, any online community can be overrun with a gang of organized online thugs. It’s difficult to detect or correct for this. It doesn’t take too large a group to significantly sway rankings, even on sites like Amazon. So, some of the problems that WOT experiences can be common for any online user-based rating service. However, as the WOT community has grown, it becomes increasingly difficult for the system to be manipulated or abused.

Addressing the WOT Censorship Myth. There are a few websites out there that make some false claims about WOT that are based on partial truths. All of the charges are addressed below in detail. To summarize, these sites slander WOT. Then they tell everyone that WOT is dangerous and warn against using the WOT plug-in. Then they claim that WOT is biased, as evidenced by their site having a red rating. Their claims seem true. However, the one factor not disclosed is that WOT is based on averaging positive and negative ratings. Because these site owners have told all their visitors not to use WOT, they won’t receive any of the positive ratings that their site visitors might have contributed. Only the few negative ratings that some people give them will be considered by WOT. This is easily duplicatable.

Resources. These are some WOT resources relating to this report.

Addressing Concerns. The concerns listed at the bottom of this document provide a typical sampling of the topics people complain about.

  • Abuse. Any website that provides community-based product and company ratings will be susceptible to abuse. Negative reviews can be posted by competitors, and companies can tell their employees to enter positive reviews. These problems exist on many websites and aren’t unique to WOT. However, in the case of WOT, the user community has grown to the point that manipulation is virtually impossible. The site has flood-gates in place to prevent automated / robotic interactions.
  • Censorship. One of the concerns expressed about WOT is that it could be used to censor or silence a certain group. This is true only in a few cases, most notably cult groups who likely feel they aren’t being treated fairly especially when their religion/group/leader is “the only true way to happiness.” Because WOT is democratically run, if a majority of people on the street (for example) have a certain opinion about something, that would be reflected in rankings. It’s largely the collective opinion of society. It’s likely in the early days of WOT that the system was more easily manipulated, but with more members, this becomes almost impossible. Any system with the power to dissuade people from looking at a website is understandably criticized by those who don’t like any kind of censorship.
  • Critics are Silenced. A reoccurring theme among anti-WOT bloggers is that WOT members will rate a site poorly if it criticizes WOT. Their point is proven by the fact that their site is rated poorly. What people don’t realize is that accurate site ratings are based on establishing an average ranking of the cumulative “votes” or ratings. So, anyone who wants to test this theory and reproduce the results every time. Create a website critical of WOT. Tell everyone you know not to rate the site or use WOT because it’s bad. So, nobody rates your site positive. Then, obviously there will be a few members of WOT who don’t like to see WOT maligned and slandered so they will rate the site red. No green ratings will be submitted to balance those red ratings. It works every time. It’s a clever parlor trick. Yet, ultimately is misleading and the message it conveys isn’t actually honest and true. Unfortunately, in today’s busy world, people don’t dig deeper to realize they’ve just been conned.
  • Manipulation. There are claims that independent contractors can be paid off to help boost your WOT scorecard rating or damage your competition’s reputation. While in theory this sounds plausible, most online community-based rating systems have checks in place to identify and stop such abuses. For example, one person at the same computer using 100 different accounts would be identified because this is being done from the same IP address.  One person, controlling multiple computers at different locations could still be identified if mysteriously 100 users all seemed to login at the same time and rate the same web page with the same high rating. Additionally, beginning users don’t carry as much weight as advanced users. So, 100 beginning user accounts don’t have as much influence.
  • Mass Rating Tool. A mass rating tool is available on WOT to trusted members who have demonstrated the skills and knowledge to use it. Anyone abusing the mass rating tool will have the privilege revoked. The tool allows responsible website analysts to process a batch or group of sites. While on the surface, this sound irresponsible for many sites to be lumped in together, the purpose for such a tool is to process sites with similar abuses all at one time. Temporary problems, such as malware infection, are usually quickly remedied, so sites with malware need to be individually evaluated. However, sites that have demonstrated an ongoing use of phishing, false advertising, or violations of privacy can be grouped. Sometimes large numbers of sites are created by the same untrustworthy source and can be dealt with as a group. For example, sometimes a batch of domain names are purchased by the same person for spam purposes. Regardless of which domain you go to, the content is the same, or they all redirect to a central website that has been identified as untrustworthy. Another use of a mass rating tool would be for a known list of trusted government and NGO websites as well as other reliable top-tier websites. Large businesses and organizations have lists of the domain names they own. These can usually be rated accordingly as a group.
  • RICO/Racketeering. There are claims by some that websites get marked as bad and only when website owners pay money can the rating improve. While it’s conceivable that independent gangs of Internet thugs could bring down a site reputation, and similarly fix it later using extortion, this could also happen with product reviews on any website. So, the WOT mechanism isn’t faulty, nor is the WOT as a company engaged in extortion. We’ve found no evidence to suggest foul play.
  • Rude and Unprofessional. Most of the websites that complain of rude and unprofessional behavior at WOT refer to the same few MyWOT members. This is a situation where an entire company is being judged based on the actions of a small number of members. Those members are not employees or official spokespeople for the company.
  • Unfair Ratings. An immediate concern with any online rating community is the internal bias to the group. Surprisingly, WOT seems to have reached a critical mass that makes the collective opinion of the group fairly unbiased with regard to content and sites aren’t necessarily rated based on the palatability of the content. For example, adult content websites are rated highly, as are evangelical religious websites. The criteria seems to be based on the authenticity of the site rather than whether site reviewers agree or disagree with what’s being offered by the site. There doesn’t seem to be an agenda on the part of the site management.
  • Users With Unbelievably High Stats. One criticism of WOT is that some long-time users have unrealistic usage statistics that would suggest they personally review hundreds of websites in a single day. That seems like a legitimate concern. However, using the mass rating tool (explained above), a single user could rate 1000 websites (verified by a trusted source to be phishing scams) in about 10 minutes.
  • WOT Plugin is Spyware. There are sophisticated claims that the WOT browser plug-in is spyware. These claims are based on the use of third-party software programs to monitor what data comes in and goes out of your computer. Technical experts claim they can prove that data is mysteriously being sent to WOT from every computer with the WOT software installed. Well… It’s all true, but a significant misrepresentation. The WOT plug-in has a synchronization feature that ensures that ratings entered through the browser plug-in will be transferred to and stored within your user account. You can download that data anytime you like. It’s not a mystery. It’s not hidden. The added advantage of this is if you have a home computer and work computer, both will be in synch. This is similar to the uproar about the Apple iPhone secretly tracking our location. The tracking was an advertised feature – the find my phone feature. It’s also something that’s built into every mobile phone in case of emergency so authorities can use it to find people. Even so, people acted like they’d never heard of mobile device tracking before, even though Apple advertised the find-my-phone feature. How can they locate a phone without location information? So, the same is true with the WOT synchronization feature. It’s advertised, and available as a feature. It’s also possible to turn it off if a user wishes to.

* * *

Initial Concerns. Despite what seems to be a technically reliable platform and solid principles for rating the security and quality of websites, the WOT service receives some negative ratings (examples found at the bottom of this page). In fact, despite about seventy 4.5-star CNET community ratings of WOT, about half of those are matched with one star ratings.

Incorrect Initial Rankings. Our own site, ResourcesForLife.com, had some unusually low WOT ratings for areas that don’t even apply to our site. For Vendor Reliability we received a score of 10 out of 100. We don’t “vend” anything. So, how can we be rated as a vendor? For Privacy, we’re rated as 41 out of 100. We don’t collect any personal or financial data on anyone. So, how can we be rated so poorly for privacy? For Trustworthiness, we’re rated as 31. Yet, as the owner of the site, I can attest that nothing gets put on the site that isn’t a first-hand report with considerable fact checking. Finally, for Child Safety, we were rated as 72. We don’t request, solicit, or provide any content of interest to younger readers, and our site content is family friendly.

Initial Ratings. Below is a chart showing our initial rating as of 2 July 2012 in the morning.

Update. Our overall site rating has dramatically increased since we originally posted this article. The figures above have improved as shown in the more recent Ratings chart below. Thankfully, the warning has been removed. Below is a chart showing our site rating as of 3 July 2012. It’s important to note that this article is known to the WOT community, and this article began as a research project to investigate negative claims against WOT. This would have likely put this website at a risk of being rated poorly.

False Malware Notification. On 2 July 2012, we were contacted by someone saying they won’t visit our site because it’s flagged by WOT as having a poor reputation, and a Russian organization called Yandex.com (a WOT partner) has blacklisted our site as having malware. This is how we found out about WOT. Here again, the claim of our site having malware is unfounded. You can scan our site with McAfee Site AdvisorNorton Safe Web, and Sucuri.net scanning services to confirm the safety of our site.

Update & Clarification. It should be noted that malware can sometimes be served up by third-party advertisers and momentarily be present on websites that aren’t locally infected. This may have been what happened with the Yandex.com report.

Initial Response to Requests. We used an online application at WOT to politely request that members of their user community evaluate our site and give it a fair rating to correct for the errors listed above. Initially, our site’s rank declined even further. In a few hours, our Vendor Reliability rank went from 10 to 5 out of 100. I should mention again that we don’t “vend” anything. So, this is a a misleading rating. Presumably a few pranksters initially skewed the rating. Subsequently it increased after a larger number of people reviewed the site. Ultimately, for my site and others I submitted, it wasn’t necessary to pay off anyone. Simply submitting a legitimate site for review was sufficient to result in acceptable ratings.

WOT Investigation. Based on the unusually poor initial rankings of our site and the false claim of our site having malware, we felt a full investigation into WOT is warranted. So, as of 2 July 2012, the Consumer Defense Resource Group conducted a full investigation into the reliability of WOT.

Initial Public Resistance. WOT may have initially been the work of conservative prudes wanting to censor the Internet. If so, it’s understandable that some in the Internet community would have fought back. However, now it seems that the WOT community is a representative sampling of people from all walks and viewpoints. It also appears that the WOT site owners/managers don’t have any censorship agenda.

  • Update. It turns out that WOT was not established originally to be a form of content censorship, nor does it operate that way today. It’s primarily tasked with the objective of identifying which websites are trustworthy and which aren’t.

What WOT Isn’t. Community/belief/culture-centric reviews are sometimes helpful to special interest groups. For example, Dove.org is a conservative movie rating organization “based on traditional Judeo-Christian values.” WOT is not attempting to assess websites based on how the content lines up with religious conservative values. Instead, it’s a secular based system that uses common decency and crowd sourcing to arrive at ratings.

Crowd Sourcing Weaknesses. While crowd sourcing generally produces quality results derived from aggregated democratic opinions, it is possible for the majority of people in a society to be wrong sometimes due to manipulation or simply human nature.

Dissatisfaction Factor. With any reviews site like WOT or Amazon, it’s possible for a single dissatisfied customer to rally a small army and significantly sway the results. This should be a word of warning to organizations or companies that cause people to be dissatisfied. It’s important to have engaged and supportive customers / members to keep the overall watermark of your ratings across the Internet high.

Delay in Rating Visibility. The MyWOT technology uses a technique similar to that used by television and radio to delay broadcasting. This serves two functions. It makes it more difficult to reverse engineer the system and observe how certain ratings and activities effect the system. Also, if someone were to figure out a way to trick the system by having hundreds of fake users artificially increase a rating, the site could detect this and prevent the results from being seen.

Transparency. Although website rating is done by a secret ballot (for privacy), comments are public and the forums where website reputations are discussed can be viewed by anyone. So, overall, the MyWOT process and workflow is fairly transparent. The list of most popular rated sites is made public and illustrates how the crowd-sourced rating model is relatively representative of society and overall social standards.

WOT Negative Feedback. Below are some observations and comments from others regarding WOT. The source of these comments is the CNET download web page for the WOT Firefox plugin. The points raised have been addressed above. One might wonder how there can be so many negative reviews of a genuine and reliable service. It appears that some people are not in favor of a community-based website ranking service. In an effort to prove such systems faulty, they are attempting to demonstrate how a group of people posting negative comments can adversely impact a product, service, organization, or company. This is what appears to be happening.

* * *

“Product exploits the server”

May 31, 2012 | By enterprisegrc
Version: Web of Trust for Firefox 20120302
Pros
None, none none none
Cons
Is making the efforts of conscientious reporters invalid by also allowing systematic exploits, abuse of business, religious bias causing damage to legitimate business, disrupting religious groups, distribution of propaganda, enabling private information distribution beyond the scope of agreed policy. Company tried to get rich on the cheap and did not account for the responsibility behind what they set out to do. It’s like giving guns to a street gang because they offered to replace the police force for free. They even facilitate pay for protection scams. Bad companies can buy great scores. Competition, religion and political views are denied freedom of speech or the right to conduct legitimate business.
Summary
Horrible. Seek any system that is using it and uninstall. File complaints with the FTC. By the time WOT gets shut down, they will have exploited several hundred thousand small business websites and all the identities and private information will be long delivered to criminals. Any company that is posting positive scores should have their rating system investigated by FTC and SEC. CDA 230 protects an ISP for posting individual opinion, but not systematic destruction of a business competitor or for suppression of religious or political ideals. The balance of the WOT behavior proves defamation, unfair practice, discrimination. As a person who sets policy, this has to be “disallowed” in any corporate setting. If any company is able to demonstrate that the product was used to hurt the competition, the corporation will pay. As people who manage risk, we need to protect our companies from it. This product hurts small business and big business. I was fooled by it, and so are a lot of compliance professionals. Let McAfee, Qualys, generally, regulated security companies, manage the fair representation of safe vs. unsafe. This product is neither scientific or controlled and its practice is entirely wrong. The owner of the company has made a public mockery of complaints filed in the US, saying he is not bound by our laws. Well everyone who is promoting it, they might not have the same protection. I suggest CNET take this review space down. Don’t get trapped by promoting a dangerous product. Just remove it from the list. I am not hiding my identity. I hope people will visit my website and see the screen shots that further explain the problem. They are posted in Facebook.

“WOT is a fraud, a scam.”

May 28, 2012 | By Ken_Rich
Version: Web of Trust for Firefox 20120302
Pros
No pros – run – it’s an extortion racket. They use lies and slander to attack legitimate sites, even Ministries and orphanages.
Cons
It’s a scam. They ruin reputations so that they can sell back reputations – it’s extortion.
Summary
Ostensibly they seem to have a good purpose, but that’s an illusion. Dig a little deeper and you will find a money making racket that maliciously damages and destroys legitimate sites and people. I complained about their lies and slander and was banned. The same story thousands have.

“MyWOT is Biased. Bad sites rated good and vice versa.”

May 2, 2012 | By Felimingo
Version: Web of Trust for Firefox 20120302
Pros
No pros to write here.
Cons
1) Mass rating system. One platinum member can turn a website reputation down from Green to RED!. People rating websites are not customers to write reviews.

2)Some users attack businesses to sell back the Green (good) reputation to that business at a fee.

3) No customer service to complain the fraud.

4) Rude staff when you report the problems to them

5) Any one rate MyWOT on their own website scoreboard will get banned from their website and the comment will be removed. Serious ethical issue.
Summary
MyWOT is false, corrupted and fraud like. Should not be trusted.

“Rico Racket – WOT and FaceBook potential Rico litigation”

March 11, 2012 | By ricoact
Version: Web of Trust for Firefox 20120302
Pros
N/A There are no pros to this organization.
Cons
There is suspicion and accusation that WOT and/or its members (platinum level) offer solutions to remove bad ratings for a fee. WOT offerings to pay to play, those that publicly criticize these practices get banned and other similar activities are consider by law as extortion, bribery, racketeering, mail and wire fraud. The fact that FaceBook is in a partnership with and utilizes WOT services may also implicate FB with the same or similar charges.

These are serious charges and if proved in court could land the defendants huge rewards therefore the motivation to pursue a class action RICO case suit is there, as well as criminal charges. The SHTF is coming. And FB has real deep pockets.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racketeer_Influenced_and_Corrupt_Organizations_Act

Summary
Start documenting everything, investigate, probe, build a witness list, etc. in preparation for the inevitable litigation that this potential and possible Rico organization has formed.

“WOT: Web Of Thugs. Horrible!”

February 19, 2012 | By ObamaLied
Version: Web of Trust for Firefox 20111107
Pros
nothing. I honestly cannot think of one single thing good about this scam.
Cons
Post a negative review of WOT and they will take you out. Google “WOT Review” and note that all the bad reviews get negative WOT ratings. Wow! Talk about silencing free speech.

This is a site that uses bully tactics to force other sites to comply. As a webmaster of my own site, I now have to “tiptoe” around the WOT community in fear that they will strike my site down. The sooner WOT is discredited, the better for all of us. Corrupt, despicable, and deplorable.
Summary
the existence of WOT makes it harder to run a website because now we have to appease the WOT horde of cyber-bullies.

“UNtrustworthy and biased”

February 14, 2012 | By s517
Version: Web of Trust for Firefox 20111107
Pros
I don’t think there is a single “pro”. myWOT is good in theory, but executed poorly.
Cons
User based ratings by people that do not visit the site.
Forums created with lists of sites to rate poorly as a community.
Mass Rating Tool allows platinum users to rate 100 sites at a time, with the same rating, and with the same comment sites that they have never looked at or have knowledge of.
If your site ends up with a poor rating myWOT tells you to vote for it yourself, create a forum post asking for ratings, and to purchase their badge of trust. This info can be found in their FAQ, however, when myWOT is confronted saying that sounds like extortion, they state that the badge cannot be purchased until a site already has a green rating. They then will state that you need to raise the score on your own first. So then it sounds like ratings can be manipulated, but myWOT will assure you that ratings cannot be manipulated. Extremely confusing circle they present to site owners.
Summary
Because of the evidence of forums where the most active users post lists of sites to rate poorly and the fact that myWOT states on the FAQ page regarding raising a low score, that one of the solutions is to purchase their badge, it raises two questions. Can myWOT be trusted with millions of users rating sites they don’t trust? And are they being paid to rate the sites poorly since myWOT sells the “badges” to site owners as “Mafia/Mob protection” to keep a site rating green?

“WOT is not safe”

December 5, 2011 | By aplatac2
Version: Web of Trust for Firefox 20111107
Pros
Great concept.
Cons
Vulnerable to manipulation by hacks to denigrate sites they disagree with.
Summary
Sites with no commercial intention, malware and virus free, get trashed. Controversial opinions regarding social, environmental, medical and other issues get targeted and degraded unfairly.

When you think about, WOT, in its current form, is a dangerous threat to a free Internet. By giving it such a high rating, the editors of cNet have lost credibility.

“Web of Trust is a scam, blackmail operation. Extortion.”

November 23, 2011 | By Cowicide
Version: Web of Trust for Firefox 20111107
Pros
Web of Trust is being sued.
Cons
Pay or have your website marked as “dangerous” and lose Facebook visitors. Web of Trust practices extortion and large scale astroturf campaigns to protect themselves from scrutiny. Many results on Google for their lawsuit goes to their public relations drivel.

Rates many safe websites poorly without giving any clear recourse or explanation to website owners on their so-called “Reputation Scorecard” page. WoT profits from website owners spending money in an attempt to make websites more accessible again from Facebook after WoT defames them. This is extortion and Facebook is playing right into it to keep their users within their walled garden instead of following safe links to outside websites.
Summary
The forums are extremely hostile to those who question WoT. For example, the companies suing WoT are referred to as “idiots”, etc. – And many of the ratings are due to agendas and WOT does nothing to circumvent that. To give you an idea of the inanity, there’s people with mottos such as “Truth is my b*tch” attacking websites they “don’t like” instead of searching for malware or any other valid issue.

For example, the riaa.org website as of 11-23-2011 is rated in such a way that many will consider the website to have issues with malware. WoT has labeled it a dangerous website with “Warning! This site has a poor reputation.”

http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/riaa.org

This is because the community has said they don’t like the RIAA. Instead of rating the website on its true safety, they rate the organization based on opinion. I mean, I’m no fan of the RIAA, but I wouldn’t LIE and give the false impression that their website is dangerous, etc.

WoT should warn people of malware, porn and scams on websites, but instead they would rather have honest people give them money to stop their fraudulent extortions. WOT is the scam to watch out for. Web of Trust is a scam. It’s a Web of Lies.

Updated on Nov 23, 2011
Another case and point, beware if you or any website you ever affiliate with say anything critical of Web of Trust. This site, mywotscam.com, is being slandered against because they are pointing out flaws with WoT (mywot.com). I’m seeing people at WoT saying mywotscam.com harbors malware, which is a libelous lie. I looked up mywotscam.com with security websites and it scanned 100% clean and safe.

This is the kind of bullying tactics you can expect from these hive mind cretins at WoT.

http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/mywotscam.com

Updated on Nov 23, 2011
Last but not least, check out this. This is just one case of many similar accounts I’ve found.
I’ve edited for brevity but you can read the rest here:

http://complaintwire.org/Complaint.aspx/tqaGZ0CgeAByhQjOPaHCqQ

” …. What happens is someone can login to the WOT account, and rate a site as phishy or unsecure for absolutely no reason at all. When this happens, anytime a customer goes to your website, a large popup will occur stating this is an unsafe site, and you should not proceed. This is ridiculous since WOT does not have any means of checking to see if this information is infact accurate.

They just go off of that single rating input by a random person. Now, the only way to have this popup removed is to either buy their “Web of Trust Seal” which costs $451/year, or have tons of people sign up for an account in their system, which in turn will bring the company more revenue as well. … ”

“WOT is a serious ripoff and SCAM UNRELIABLE SCAMMERS”

September 10, 2011 | By Allen6195
Version: Web of Trust for Firefox 20110704
Pros
There are no pros to this unethical company.
Cons
WOT is a serious ripoff and SCAM. They don’t display their phone number, don’t answer problems with their rating system and are unresponsive. They are ruining legitimate businesses and something should be done about them. WOT is ONE BIG SCAM!
Summary
This is how the SCAM WORKS:
What happens is someone can login to the WOT account, and rate a site as phishy or unsecure for absolutely no reason at all. When this happens, anytime a customer goes to your website, a large popup will occur stating this is an unsafe site, and you should not proceed. This is ridiculous since WOT does not have any means of checking to see if this information is infact accurate.

They just go off of that single rating input by a random person. Now, the
only way to have this popup removed is to either buy their “Web of Trust Seal” which costs $451/year, or have tons of people sign up for an account in their system, which in turn will bring the company more revenue as well.
Here is there ‘game’, you complain, then the stop answering your emails, then you complain on their forum and they ‘block your’ name and password so your account is virtually locked. They don’t respond to any questions, there is NO SUPPORT and the support there is doesn’t assist but gives you wrong answers and the run-around. So like God, they block you off your account so you cannot even answer malicious statements left by other WOT users that are inaccurate. I hope this company is closed down and will line up to sign a lawsuit against them…

No phone number, no response from company they are NOT a WEB OF TRUST but a Website UNTrustworthy!!!!

I have never hated a company as badly as I hate this company. Non-Responsive, Ludicrous Ratings, Playing with people’s livelihood and They don’t even respond to a problem When They Are Wrong! I truly hate this company. Would love to do a joint lawsuit with other companies ruined by WOT the SCAM.

“WOT blocks you from making comment about their practice”

August 24, 2011 | By harmonijustice
Version: Web of Trust for Firefox 20110704
Pros
At one point in time, there was, but now all perceived advantages have gone down the toilet.
Cons
WOT bans and blocks you when you raised the problem to them, but allows the trashing to go on by its members who attained Platinum level. They are just creating a party for their own inner circle members.
Summary
WOT is just an add-on crock posing as doing something good. That says a lot about WOT (mywot.com) where they silence Rookie members raising issues with their rating system. They are trying to defend and justify their practices on CNET, Mozilla and others and have been quite busy at that. I’m surprised all the negativities have not taken tolls on them. “What you sow is what you reap…”

“The Worst Moderated Boards I Have Ever Seen”

July 6, 2011 | By quickregister
Version: Web of Trust for Firefox 20110704
Pros
I see no advantages to this site since their ratings have no moderation for accuracy.
Cons
Their boards are full of old copy and paste spam comments that go back years. It seems as if nobody moderates their boards. How could Facebook consider using such an unreliable system?
Summary
Mywot even provides users with a tool which allows users to leave the same copy and pasted comment on 100 sites at a time! Can you imagine a forum owner encouraging his users to leave copy and paste comments 100 at a time! Their boards are full of comment spam falsely accusing sites of having viruses and adult content. Here is the Mywot link where they talk about their mass comment tool made available to members:

http://www.mywot.com/wiki/Mass_rating_tool

Incredible that anybody even thinks about using this service.

“Web of Mistrust”

March 14, 2011 | By oskargreen
Version: Web of Trust for Firefox 20100908
Pros
Letting users rate websites for safety and trust sounds like a good idea.
Cons
False reviews are common. The developers sell “trust seals” to those who fear negative ratings. They reward users who give the most negative reviews to 1000s of sites. Those who criticize often find themselves with negative ratings.
Summary
Don’t trust it.

Updated on Mar 14, 2011
You are so right. At first I thought WOT was a good idea. But a close look reveals that it is filled with abuse. WOT ratings are mostly meaningless and yet they scare people away from thousands of websites.

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About Gregory Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer in Iowa City and also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. He also manages IowaCityWebDesignArtist.com and many other topic specific websites.

View all posts by Gregory Johnson
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