Patsy says her site was ruined by WOT
I was given a bad, red circle rating on my site because i kept posting questions on the WOT forum. The reason i kept asking questions (there were about 4 or 5 questions i asked) is because i didn’t know i had received a reply, as the posts get lost in the thousands of posts on there. So, for punishment, they rated my site terribly. One member even said ‘bad customer experience’ and wasn’t even a customer of mine. I couldn’t do a thing about it, even when i asked them to remove unfair comment ratings…nothing!
As a result the website i paid one yrs hosting for has had to be shut down due to it being useless to me. Who the heck is going to go on there with a red circle?
I am looking into doing something about this, as i cannot help but feel it is not only unfair, it is disgusting. I was abused in the forum too, i was spoken too like i was an idiot. I was even called an airhead.
I’m not the only one to be abused on there either, i read through posts and found others accused of this that and the other.
I had a new business and now i don’t because WOT members decided to do this to me and why? all because i didn’t answer questions i never knew i had!
The questions I asked were. ‘Could you rate my site please?’ I put that twice as like I said, I didn’t know I’d got a reply. Oh heck! that’s when it all started to go very wrong for me.
All my life I have never been unethical ever!!! and now they made me look like that, that’s why I shut the site down, well almost down, I need to ask Go Daddy my host to shut it down properly. I’ve just removed all posts and pages etc at moment.
All this happened within the space of a week, just today, I closed my site.
(Site URL removed at Patsy’s request.)
It’s too bad that your site and your small business were harmed in this way. Did you try contacting WOT? If so did they offer any kind of remedy?
WOT’s site ratings are subjective. If you look at their community you’ll see where a handful of individuals make a large percentage of the posts. Users who have nothing better to do than post negative comments (one person had made well over 50,000 posts when I last looked) are able to decide for tens, perhaps millions of users which sites are good and which sites are bad. I don’t imagine that it will be too long before sites who don’t buy into WOT’s badge program (i.e. don’t contribute to WOT’s coffers) will be rated negatively.
As far as we’re concerned WOT cannot be trusted to give accurate, unbiased information. We’ve published newsletters and articles asking for WOT to tell us how they arrive at their ratings – but so far, as of today no answer from WOT. It’s funny, when we were recommending them when they first started, they were in contact with us all the time. But when we recognized the how serious this “rating” game is, and how it could be used to shut down or seriously damage good sites, we stopped recommending WOT. And we considered how services like WOT could also be used to promote or denigrate political agendas, software developers, or businesses which may sell products or services which compete with WOT, or products they don’t happen to like. Services like WOT could too easily be use as censorship tools to be used against sites which have content that WOT finds offensive to them, or whose content may be in contradiction to their agenda or beliefs.
We stopped recommending WOT and all so-called safe-surfing toolbars. There’s too much room for chicanery and promotion of personal agendas and points of view. The fact that such toolbars could be used for censorship and promotion of whatever products or agendas WOT or its community decided to promote makes us even more skeptical. We will continue to try to educate people about the potential dangers of allowing communities of unqualified, anonymous users to judge web sites.
Besides all the other doubts we have about WOT and safe-surfing toolbars in general, the need for such protection has become questionable at best anyway. All current versions of Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Opera and Chrome have excellent fraud and phishing detection and protection. The things we should be concerned about and focus our attention on are fraudulent sites, sites that distribute malware, and phishing sites. We don’t need to go back to a time when a small group of fanatics decide for us what is acceptable and what in not. Anytime anyone tries to tell you what you are allowed to see and what you’re not – there’s a danger lurking – it’s called censorship and that is a danger and a risk to us all.