Dukeo » General » MYWOT Web Of Trust Review: Modern Web Totalitarianism

MYWOT Web Of Trust Review: Modern Web Totalitarianism

Steven 61 responses General

MyWot.com can’t be trusted! It’s as simple as that. The scariest part is that (god knows how) they managed to make a private deal with Facebook that is now using their data to block links to certain website. The system mywot.com have in place is nothing more than a modern web-adaptation of fascism. Let’s take a look at the definition of fascism from Wikipedia before I get bashed by their brain-washed fan-base.

Fascism is a radical, authoritarian nationalist political ideology. It advocates the creation of a totalitarian single-party state that seeks the mass mobilization of a nation through indoctrination, physical education, and family policy. […]

web of mis trust

It all started a couple days ago as I was browsing blogs in the affiliate marketing niche. My attention got caught by a post by Jonathan Volk. Apparently, his website has been extremely badly rated by MyWot users.

Being a regular reader of Jonathan’s blog, I decided to dig a little further into this post. How could an upfront guy like him could get bad reviews on his blog (that helped so many people getting started in affiliation)? How could a website that allows defamation, could at the same time make a deal with Facebook? Well, here is what I discovered.

Where it started: Jonathan’s Father’s Site

All of this started because of Jonathan’s father’s e-commerce website. It received some extremely bad rating on MyWot.com starting in 2008 or 2009. The funny thing is that from what I read in the comments posted by MyWot users, they actually do not judge the site on itself, nor on the service he is providing but based on some information they gathered from other websites… There comes my first doubt…

How can you rate a site as being “Very Poor” regarding “Trustworthiness“, “Vendor Reliability“, “Privacy” and “Child Safety” if you didn’t experience the service yourself? I mean, even a sceptical would say that you can rank it “Poor” regarding “Trustworthiness” if you don’t believe in the product that is being sold, but what about “Vendor Reliability” if you never bought from the Vendor? What about “Privacy” if all you did was visit 2 pages on the site? (how do you know that the webmaster does not respect your privacy?) and about “Child Safety” just let me laugh… Jonathan’s father’s site sells some On Demand Hydrogen Generators for cars and trucks, it’s not a sex addict’s den.

The Upscaling: Discovering Whois, Screwing Whole Server

At this point, a MyWot.com member who apparently really didn’t like Jonathan’s father’s e-commerce website decided that it was not enough to get it blacklisted, but it would also be fun to get all the domains on the same server blacklisted. Because you never know…

It’s the kind of behavior that says: “There are some ants in the backyard, let’s use a bazooka to kill them all“. And who cares if we also destroy the neighbor’s yard, and kill him, his wife, his kids and his dog?

Based on his clever discovery of what is a domain Whois, all the websites on the server started receiving extremely bad ratings, including Jonathan’s blog.

web of trust jonathan volk

MyWot/Facebook deal: What The Hell is Facebook Thinking?

It could have stayed that way if MyWot had stayed where it was: in a dark corner of the internet where no-one gives a damn about what they are saying. But thanks to a god-knows-how deal, MyWot is now used by Facebook to block links to allegedly spammy/scammy websites. And these links are supposed to be blocked not only in people’s posts, but also in Facebook Ads.

The funny part is that you can see that the bad ratings are given by about 10-15 persons. Which means that an organized group of less than 20 persons can sink a whole small business by crushing its reputation on MyWot. At this point, I started wondering what people could do if the system was gamed and they were falsely accused of being scammers.

What I discovered scared me even more! (Here comes the part about fascism).

MyWot: Modern Web Fascism

On MyWot, people votes have weight. Said like that, it could sound like an awesome idea to prevent people from quickly registering thousands of accounts and trying to change site’s rating. But it has a huge drawback: once a spammer is established and decides to screw you, you can’t save yourself.

Here is an extract of MyWot FAQ titled “How reliable are the ratings?”:

The short version is that the system analyzes each user’s rating behavior from several aspects in order to determine their reliability. When you start using WOT, your ratings have little weight, but if you keep rating sites consistently, your ratings will be considered more reliable over time. The meritocratic nature of the system makes it far more difficult for spammers to abuse, because bots will have a hard time simulating human behavior over a long period of time.

Bye bye democracy!

What if a single individual or a small organized group decides to use MyWot to its advantage. All you have to do is create 10 to 20 accounts. Rate a huge number of websites on a daily basis and soon enough you will reach a god-like status where nobody will be able to balance your votes. Of course, you have to post average votes on a regular basis to avoid being red flagged until you reach a certain level of trust. But once you reach this level, there is little that small business owners can do to defend themselves against you.

MyWot: Power-User Proof Of Concept “g7w”

Ok, I see you coming and telling me that they must have safe-locks in place to prevent abuse. So I just took a look at the account of a guy who was pretty cocky in MyWot forums and being a total lesson-giver (people I despise the most). It ended up being a really good pick since he has received a lot of “Awards” from MyWot thanks to his activity. He has “Scam Buster Award 2009“, “Top Member Award 2009” and “Top Member Award 2010“. I assume he is a good example of a power-user of MyWot.

web of trust platinum member

So, his profile, that you can find here, also lists a few other information. I learned that he joined in November 2008 (for the sake of the demonstration we’ll assume he joined on November 1st): 1034 days ago (on the day I wrote this post). We also learn that he posted an impressive 697,873 reviews and 727,290 comments. Erm… Well… Almost too impressive… That means that he posted an average of 675 reviews per day as well as 703 comments per day. Yeah, you read that right: 675 reviews and 703 comments PER DAY. And this is for almost 3 years in a row! This guy must be a voting machine, he got some skills!

At this point, I assume you have as many doubts as I do about MyWot reliability regarding bot detection. But let’s assume that he didn’t use a bot and was actually able to post so many reviews and comments.

How many websites do you visit per day? I mean, really visit, not only seeing the homepage and moving away. Do you order 675 products per day? Do you actively visit 675 websites/forums/blogs per day? Well, this guy does! At least, I assume he does since he posts reviews of all of them and he would certainly not judge all these books by their covers… Would he?

Moreover, he does visit so many websites PLUS his regular websites since all these votes were casted for different websites… That’s 246,375 different websites per year!

MyWot Fraud: Power-Users Moderate The Forum

All the attacks against Jonathan’s business made me react and I registered an account with MyWot just to reply to some of the accusations by the platinum member “g7w”. I took some time to elaborate my reply in several bullet points, each one being a reaction to some wrongly-interpreted facts in “g7w” post. After 30 minutes of building my reply, I posted it to MyWot.

24 hours later, I went back to MyWot forum to check if there was a reply to my post. To my surprise, my post had been moderated (read “deleted”)… by “g7w”! Apparently, being a platinum member doesn’t only give a lot of weight to his votes, but it also allows him to moderate himself the posts to MyWot. Even if the posts are replies to his wrongly-built accusations! Doesn’t that sound a little like a conflict of interest to you?

So, a power-user can literally crash a business’ reputation by posting horrible rates even if he doesn’t have any real experience with the given website, then he can moderate whoever does not agree with him and demonstrate that his demonstration is full of mistakes…

MyWot Encourages Spam From Its Users

MyWot is claimed to be fighting against spam and scams with their rating system, so how would you explain that they encourage their own users to use spam?

It has come to my atention that MyWot encourages its platinum users to use spam by mass-rating websites. Yeah you read that right: mass-rating websites, 100 at a time.

They are offering a mass rating tool that allows the users to leave the same rate and the exact same comment to websites by bulk of 100. That’s a great idea to artificially inflate the activity of the site (by giving the impression that a lot of users are reviewing a lot of sites manually) but it doesn’t encourage people to really experiment with a website before they rate it.

The extremely funny part is that they are using a variables in their mass-rating tool to give the impression that each comment was posted manually. Here is an extract from their own wiki:

Comment variable

To enable your comments to be more precise or to appear more “personal” a variable has been introduced for use in the comment section.

The important word there is “appear”. They want the comments to appear as if they were crafted exclusively for the given website, hence deceiving the other users and making them believe that they had real first-hand experience with the website.

MyWot Scam: Need More Proof? Top Rated Sites

Ok, I’ll assume you’re a sceptical and still think that the proof I exposed so far was not enough… Here is a last one that should end convincing you: Most popular websites in the last 30 days. You can see a screenshot below just in case MyWot decides to game the system too.

web of trust top 20

The top 3 is no surprise since Facebook.com, Google.com and Youtube.com are among the most websites visited worldwide. But my attention got caught by the sites number 10 to 15… Yandex.ru, Vkontakte.ru, e.Mail.ru, Odnoklassniki.ru and Mail.ru. I’m sorry if I have any russian readers, but russians are not exactly known online for being your friendly reviewer… *cough* spam *cough*.

If you compare this top 20 to the top sites on Alexa regarding worldwide traffic you’ll see some interesting differencies that might raise a few eyebrows, and make you doubt MyWot has the global appeal it wishes to have.

MyWot Staff: Anonymity As A Security Measure

So, up to this point, I showed that MyWot is a giant anonymous trolling party, but what about their website itself and the company behind it?

For a website so involved in “making things right” for the average internet user, I find it pretty amusing that they do not display any contact form, email address or telephone number on their website. The only thing available is a mail address in Helsinki, Finland.

What internet-based company is using only mail to be contacted?? Maybe someone is a little afraid of having to reply to angry websites owners all day long on the phone? But anyway, every legit internet-business which cares at least a little about its users have a contact form or a contact email address available.

Or maybe there is another reason to it…

MyWot Trick: Artificially Inflating User-base

Since their is no contact form anywhere on the site, the only “online” option you have to reach the company is to register an account in their forum. But instead of receiving replies from the company employees, you get replies from the exact same trolls that trashed your business previously, and let me tell you that you won’t EVER see one of their users having an opinion different from the rest of the pack.

Their model is in place: a few die-hard members who spam-vote sites and a crowd of sheeps who are following the votes of the platinum members in order to grow their own reputation (since to increase their own trust and weight, they have to vote like the rest of the pack). They target small businesses with potential following and tell them to defend themselves by asking their fans to register and vote the site up even if they perfectly know that the votes will have absolutely no weight (even if there are hundreds of them) compared to the ones of their premium users.

It artificially grows their user-base since these 1 time voters obviously are not going to be regular users of their tool. And if the response rate is too big and risks to expose their manipulations, they disable comments voting system to make sure their haters’ comments stay on top (comments order is then decided by user-level, so platinum members comments are always on top) and keep fueling the hate .

MyWot Users: Anonymity As A Defamation Tool

I’ve been thinking a lot about the fact that MyWot users are completely anonymous, and apparently I am not the only one since they answer this concern in their own faq:

If all ratings were public, users might be reluctant to rate certain sites, because it would reveal to everyone they have actually visited them.

So, if I understand correctly, people do not assume the fact that they visit a website, but they can trash it if they want?

In my opinion, keeping user’s identities private is only encouraging defamation. If these guys were thinking that what they are doing is 100% right, they wouldn’t need to hide behind nicknames. They would stand up and be proud of what they are doing. Instead of that, they hide themselves and troll. That’s immature and that’s 100% unreliable. This system allows any business to trash their competition or any other website anonymously.

If you think about it in another way, for MyWot, keeping trolls hidden behind nicknames is a 100% win situation. As I already explained they force people to signup to MyWot if they want to defend themselves, so the more trolling and defamation, the more their account number increases. Secondly, it creates controversy, which is one of the greatest hooks to get attention to a website. And lastly, once someone finally steps up and sue them for defamation, they hide behind the law that says that MyWot is just a Host and can’t be held responsible for their user’s claims.

To sum it up, users have a feeling of impunity since they are hidden in anonymity so they trash websites on a daily basis, and if things turn wrong with a lawsuit, MyWot company is benefiting from impunity since they do not hold any responsibility for the content of their own website. Clever!

MyWot Experiment: How Long Until I Get Trashed For This Post?

Now just wait a few days/weeks until some of MyWot’s extremists discover my site and kill my reputation. There will be no better proof that MyWot is rigged since right now, Dukeo doesn’t have a bad reputation on their website. See for yourself.

web of trust dukeo.com

Update: I must thank MyWot users for perfectly demonstrating my point: it took only 17 hours for Dukeo to get a “Bad Reputation” only based on this article. Now, explain to me why I have a bad “Vendor Reliability” when I am not selling any product? What is the problem with “Privacy” on my site where I don’t even use any cookies? And what about “Child Safety” issues? MyWot is rigged and you just confirmed it, thank you.

Update2: By checking my company website Dukeo Media, it appears that once again, MyWot used their Whois Skills to rate poorly the domains hosted on the same server. I know for sure that I have never done any business with someone using MyWot simply because I have never signed any private contract with another company. MyWot lies are exposed once again.

Hey don’t worry, you can always buy one of Web Of Trust Seals for as low as 529.95€ per year… Did I hear extortion somewhere in the back? A “trust” website that can be bought? I love capitalism!

That’s just a shame that Facebook gave its trust to MyWot, a website where the system can be gamed by a small group of people with bad intentions which can literally break small businesses’ reputation in the blink of an eye. Now when you’re hearing of Web Of Trust, don’t think “reliance“, but think “monopoly“.

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  1. Best review on Mywot yet. I have spent many hours trying to “reason” with the liars that slammed our site,and have seen the ones that are human and the ones that are apparently bots, because they erase any replies I post. The one you mention above is one of them, and SuperHero58 is another:
    Platinum member Member since May 2010
    • My activity score:46,104 *
    • My ratings:372,146 *
    • My posts:399,350
    • Gender:Male
    • Country:United States

    When I wrote to the admin for help, he told me they could only delete postings that were spam, or illegal, etc. but he couldn’t do anything about these guys because our site was “not trustworthy”. ??? I told him were not trustworthy because of these lies and false allegations with not one shred of evidence.
    I also pointed out that their system was being gamed, and that their own TOS was being violated by these “heavy hitters”. He should be able to at least delete the spambot postings.
    He basically told me to shut up and quit emailing them.

    This is tantamount to cyber terrorism in my book. Thanks for being one to stand up for the truth! I have apologized to my son that he got caught up in these attacks against us to shut us down- this has been a bad one, and I feel I am fighting the battle alone sometimes. Great to see others are starting to see these guys for who they are- something needs to change!

    1. Nice stats for SuperHero58:

      489 days, 761 ratings per day and 816 posts per day…

    2. Even if he were human, which I doubt), no one could even begin to truthfully assess any business or site’s customer service, trustworthiness, or reliability at 816 posts a day.

      I am passing a link to this article of yours to all our Facebook friends as well as our email lists. Well done and thank you for an honest review!

    3. Indeed, in my article I’m not saying that they are all bots because I have no 100% sure proof.

      The thing is no human being can have a real experience (more than a homepage hit) with so many websites per day for 3 years in a row. Even the most hardcore internet surfer can’t do that.

    4. I tested this theory right away when my Facebook customers began to complain because when they clicked on the internal links (that they requested from me), a red page would pop up warning them to stay away.

      Once I “claimed my site” and logged in, I immediately began posting a reply to each of the supposed reviewers. Even threatened a lawsuit for defamation and libel, since I knew they had no evidence whatsoever in their false accusations.

      What I found was that the apparent spambots deleted my responses automatically, no matter how many times I replied. The other few tagalongs,that rated similarly, had significantly fewer posts (25,000 over several years), and they responded, but with animosity, demanding patent numbers and scientific data to back up our claims.

      I told them I’d be glad to do that- as soon as they emailed me with their real names/addresses,websites, and place of business so we could be on the same level (since all that information is available freely at my company website).

      Most of them shut up after that…

      My theory is that either someone pays the spambots, or creates them to game the system. Then those that are trying to gain posting credits for more authority, just fall in lockstep when they see these “heavy hitters” expose a scam site.

      All of them are guilty for neglecting the true reason for a ratings site- to ACTUALLY look at, browse, and ask questions to determine if a site is decent to work with or not.

      It is also evident if you click on one of the spambots and then click the “My Scorecard Comments” you will see the long litany of just click after click, all rated phishing/scam

      there is no true review going on there.

    5. Bob, I made another discover and edited the original post to add it, you might be interested to read the part titled: “MyWot Encourages Spam From Its Users”

    6. Jonathan Volk

      At 816 posts per day, assuming they work 24 hours per day with no sleep it’s just about a post every two minutes. (1440 minutes per day)

      Assuming they are online 10 hours per day, that’d be well over 1+ posts per minute to assess the credibility of a company and make the rating… Wow. Lol. That can’t be real.

    7. Maybe a new breed of super human beings already exists that we are not aware off… ;)

  2. Jonathan Volk

    Thanks for the article. Very good stuff! I’ll be emailing this out to my list and try to get people to vote our sites up while also exposing WOT.

    1. The subject really deserved the post, WOT is just a fraud and they need to be exposed.
      I also sent a message to Techcrunch about the subject.

      Don’t forget to mention how the voting system works (once logged, you need to click on the color bars to cast your vote). It’s not obvious for fresh users.

    2. Hama

      jonathan, why not forward it to all the net/it website, which there are many of, plus media.. would sure get somethings moving, you could always email facebook too.

  3. Mike Rose

    Hey, Steven…. (and Bob)

    Just thought you should know this comment I posted on your mywot page…
    so you seem to have one comment from the phony phisher and one from the real MikeR

    MikeR007 09/03/2011

    Good site

    Excellent site: top operator Ste’ has already established an enviable reputation in his native France, and Internet Marketers and Facebook Fans the world over rely on his perceptive commentary on Web Integrity.

    If Steven accepts you as an Internet Marketing colleague, be thankful you are in the Top Team

    If http://www.dukeo.com

    rates your site well, feel free to pat yourself on the back and accept his blessings with good grace.

    You deserved them.

    MikeR “

    1. Thanks a lot for your support Mike. I truly appreciate it.

  4. Jonjon

    Great article!!! Way to take a stand for what is right!

  5. Brian

    Great article. MYWOT is a fraudulent thought proxy for morons and I can’t wait til it implodes. A pathetic attempt at online censorship.

  6. The site operator Sami has threatened me this morning to delete my account. It also appears he is deleting all ratings and comments of those that rate HIS site as a phishing/scam site, telling me I can’t do that because it isn’t true. LOL really? That is my point Sami boy…your site can’t be trusted.
    One of my customers also got told the same thing- had his rating and comment deleted.

    1. I also had an account deleted because I was exposing one of these “mass raters” which obviously can’t have fist-hand experience with over 500k websites. I really can’t understand how they could have developed such a tool (the mass-rating app) and still hope to be trusted.

      I saw a few replies to this post on MyWot forum and invited the members to come post comments in here in order to have an open-discussion. Apparently they are not really at ease getting out of their anonymity and posting here since the only comment I received which was not exposing MyWot defamatory practices was posted by “John Doe” and telling me that I was “uninformed! LMAO”. Such maturity…

  7. Keith

    I thought something did not sit right with that whole WOT thing, thanks for exposing it… I just hope the big tech blogs and news report on it. It just seems so obvious now!

    1. I hope that too, but I doubt it will happen even if MyWot is just a circle-jerking troll party.

      You will never see (even once) a regular user thinking differently from the pack and standing up for it.

  8. One of my customers sent me a copy of the reply he got from them when they deleted his comment on rating them a scam/phishing site. When he pointed out the absurdity of a anyone posting 800+ posts a day to the site owner (Sami?) he was told that they have a “special software” that speeds up the process of rating sites.
    Really? It is that software that is causing these problems!

    I referred to him as Sami and the super spammers…that is when he threatened to delete my account. LOL

    Interesting that he has no problem deleting any phishing/scam site accusations against mywot, but insists he cannot reverse or delete the super spammers rating of our accounts. Hypocrite.

    1. Their model is in place: a few die-hard members who spam-vote sites and a crowd of sheeps who are following the votes of the platinum in order to grow their own reputation (since to increase their own trust and weight, they have to vote like the rest of the pack). They target small businesses with potential following and tell them to ask their fans to register and vote the site up even if they perfectly know that the votes will have absolutely no weight (even if there are hundreds of them) compared to the ones of their users.

      It artificially grows their user-base since these 1 time voters obviously are not going to be regular users of their tool. And if the response is too big and risks to expose their manipulations, they disable comments voting system to make sure their haters’ comments stay on top and keep fueling the hate.

      Mywot: A few clever guys using their intelligence to harm other people businesses and a crowd of sheeps.

  9. Jonathan Volk

    The updates are amazing. Love that you have a low MyWOT score just like you predicted. I’m going to email this post out to my list soon, just formulating the best way to do it to get the most response.

    Thanks again for all your help / investigation!

    1. Really, there is no need to thank me. MyWot is just a giant joke with no legitimacy. They are just censorship-control-freaks.

      In case you still have doubts about their system being rigged and controlled by just a few, check the page for “megavideo.com”. 10 pages of negative comments out of 15 pages, and the site is still full green.

      I have still another update to post about the way they push all their members into thinking the same way.

      BTW, when your site get targeted, they also encourage you into registering an account into the forum and ask users to review your site. The problem is that, since you already received negative votes before doing so, their sheeps will assume that your site is evil so they will search every possible reason they can to destroy your reputation. Hidden Whois, Privacy Policy missing, difficulty defending yourself in english… Be careful with your wording because everything you say can (and will) be interpreted the wrong way to destroy you even further (I’ve had a forum member accusing my site of profanity because I used the word “pissed off” in their forum).

      You can also check the scorecard of “youporn.com”. You’ll see that it’s green for everything except “Child Safety”. This is quite weird since they use a private whois and do not disclose any contact information (which is a sufficient reason to destroy the reputation of a small business). The only difference is that MyWot (which btw doesn’t have any company information and contact info on their own pages) will never target such a big site because they know these sites have big means to sue their ass if they were to block them.

      So far, I gave examples of the mass-voting users, but if you want a good example of a sheep who’s trying to climb up the MyWot ladder, check WebiGator. The guy is trying to pick on almost every person who is asking for review in the forum. When I tried defending my site, I was told that dukeo is all about “scams/per per click/pay per view” (you’ll note that they joyfully put everything in the same bag), I tried to explain that “pay per click” and “pay per view” are not scams but traffic sources, then this webiGator almost called me stupid because there was no common point between “pay per click” and “pay per view (television)”… This is how these guys are, they’ll jump to your throat even if they’re as dumb as their feet.

      Just today, a german guy politely asked the MyWot community to review his site. WebiGator went digging in the forum archive some 6 months old post to trash him… I bet my shirt that the guy won’t be able to save his ass since he speaks only in German.

  10. I have had quite a few of our members email me this weekend that they rated mywot as a scam/phishing site and as soon as they logged off- the comments were deleted. Interesting that Sami says they can’t delete the lies on our sites- but is very quick to remove them on his own. When he threatened to delete my account- I quickly copied and pasted all comments from customers, posts to and from him, and all info on the spammers, for evidence to present to a lawyer.
    BTW- he hates to be called Sami and the Super Spammers LOL

    The problem with this MYWOT is deeper that just them. The other ratings/security sites then gather their feeds and then propagate the info across the web. I just got a link from another lie posted about us (this time on webutation.net) saying:

    “Phishing / Fraud / Badware
    My 2 cents as a developer:

    hhokitsdirect.com is run from within China by a Chinese company. Why didn’t it come as a surprise when I detected that hhokitsdirect.com is apparently offering 12 programs by me, but actually distributes trojans as a download instead of the original software?

    By doing so, hhokitsdirect.com abuses my name for their malicious attempts to invade your computer system!

    Also, being located in China, they use their freedom to ignore DMCA takedown notices, so the issue can not be resolved as long as China ignores international copyright laws and licenses.

    If that’s not enough reason for marking hhokitsdirect.com as a malicious website, you haven’t opened your eyes lately.”

    They use WYWOT as the reason to rate us a s a dangerous phishing site and then post the rest of the nonsense which is again a bold faced lie. Can we say “targeted”? Another lie by these creeps I must now fight …

    1. The name of the guy who posted lies about your website on Webutation is “sushyGator” and the guy who I was talking about on MyWot is called “webiGator”… Coincidence?

    2. Hmmm- interesting. I didn’t notice that before. Anyone know of a good web savvy investigator we could hire? Love to track this guy down…

  11. I just checked- one of our competitors that threatened to “shut us down” last year, is based in St. Cloud, Florida….
    The whole “Gator” thing is quite suspicious….

  12. Laddy

    G7W The MyWot member who has posted 729,000 times most of which are negative comments about web sites and most of these web sites are rated as safe by other rating services. Think about that. MyWot.com was created 5 years ago. That means that G7W posts about 145,800 times per year or 400 times a day, every day. That’s 16 posts per hour IF he didn’t sleep, but lets assume he sleeps for 8 hours a day, that means he posts 25 times an hour for 16 hours a day which means he is spending 2.4 minutes per post to determine a web site is unsafe and write about how unsafe it is. Something doesn’t seem right here. Maybe G7W is the one you shouldn’t be trusting and since MyWot puts up with this them maybe MyWot is anything but trustworthy. P.S as soon as I posted this in the MyWot Forum they deleted it and disabled my login.

    1. Yes- many of my customers outraged at the false ratings, then went onto mywot.com and rated THEIR site as a phishing site/scam. They were immediately deleted and reprimanded by “Sami”. SO, it is OK for him to delete bad rankings for their site, but he REFUSES to delete lies about other sites? This really is tantamount to Cyber Terrorism.Anyone have any ideas how we can combat this fast growing terrorist site masquerading as a “ratings site”?

      By the way- the super spammers use a software provided by mywot to “speed up” their ability. With it they can “rate” 100 sites with one click. Now you tell me how they are accepted in Facebook with that fake way to rate sites and obviously jack up their own ratings?

      One of my customers in Finland did some research and found the email of the CEO of MYWOT. I have written him- perhaps other should as well. Here is his phone number AND EMAIL:

      “I was snooping some information of that WOT for you, hope it helps…

      If these help :

      WOT Services Ltd.
      Vesa Perälä CEO
      Tel. +358 40 5860863
      vesa (at) mywot.com

      Companys responsible persons (board):

      * Aarne Heikki Sipilä, Chairman
      * Tapio Antero Heikkilä, member
      * Ulf Michael Widenius, member
      * Ernst Niklas Indola, member
      * Niko Taneli Tikka, member
      * Vesa Jaakko Perälä, CEO”

    2. I am not sure about the legal aspect of sharing someone’s personal information on the net, but I guess it’s ok if the information is already available somewhere… Moreover, I’ll just hide behind the same excuse as WOT: I’m just providing a place for people to share their thoughts and as a host, I can’t control what they do. ;)

      Mywot is just a giant joke and the truth will certainly be revealed soon. BTW did I say anything about the fact that for some guys who are always talking about being open and honest, they don’t have any company information on their website, and no contact form… If you want to reach them, you have to register a user account and post to the forum… They are not being so “open” about themselves… Probably afraid of the consequences of trolling every website they can. And yet another way to artificially inflate their user-base…

  13. A Wot Hater

    Hi people.

    I’ve been checking on that WOT forum for some time now.

    Several “platinum” members have deleted their account and the newer members are starting to follow that trend.

    As an example: Webigator has left WOT ( http://www.mywot.com/en/forum/16070-lawsuit ) and more are to follow soon from what I’ve been reading here and there.

    Only the stupid people stay at WOT. The top-100 who have access to the “mass rating tool” like G7W. Looking at G7W, I see he is posting the usual sh#t about his number of ratings at http://www.mywot.com/en/forum/16044-why-i-don-t-trust-mywot

    I would say, take down the top-100 and WOT is clean! Or should I say ruined? LOL

    By the way: do you people know that WOT is still having legal problems? Look at http://www.mywot.com/en/forum/8653-career-network-inc-et-al-v-wot-services-ltd-et-al?comment=97358#comment-97358 and notice that they never posted anything about the outcome of that oral hearing! Maybe someone should ask them? That case is still hot!

    Personally, I would rate all of your websites perfectly safe at WOT, but I’m not going to install that add-on and register just to do that. WOT is too much of a scam to risk sharing personal data like my e-mail. In fact, after having the “WOT experience” I’m not sharing anything with anyone anymore. It’s too risky. Before you know it, libel and slander hits you in the face. Been there, done it, got my site blown away and I’ve been hating WOT for being a scam ever since.

    Webutation is even worse. Anyone can post anything there. More scammers to ruin our day…

    1. WebiGator being sued is a good thing (if true) and I hope it will tarnish MyWot reputation but they’ll probably just bury it.

      The reaction of Sami, about finding webyGator’s “real identity”, leaves me stunned. You can read it here. This just confirms that these guys are hiding behind anonymity to troll and crash other people businesses… And they are totally aware of it.

      If these guys were thinking that what they are doing is 100% right, they wouldn’t need to hide behind nicknames. They would stand up and be proud of what they are doing. Instead of that, they hide and troll. That’s immature and that’s 100% unreliable. This system allows any business to trash their competition anonymously. On the other hand, you have guys like Jonathan, Bob Volk or me, who are putting our REAL names on the line to stand up for what is right. Who are you going to trust now? A horde of anonymous trolls or a few honest guys?

      About G7W, you’ll see that he is quite proud of his numbers, however he never replies to people saying that he doesn’t have first-hand experience with the websites he is trashing. This is enough for me to call it spam.

      When investigating MyWot to write this post, I discovered this Florida lawsuit. Mywot didn’t say anything about the hearing, however they had issued a press release about it back in February. From what I understood, this is part of the leverages MyWot is using to increase its own reach: controversy. The problem they’re facing is that if you fly too close to the sun, you end up burning your wings.

      Mywot is just a pitiful attempt at policing the web and imposing a single way of thinking.

      What’s the difference between MyWot and Webutation? On both sites, anyone can post anything…

  14. Douglas Karr

    Could not agree more. Fantastic, in-depth article on this sham operation.

    1. Thanks a lot for your comment.

      Funny thing is that none of their users defended MyWot in the comments here. My guess is that either they can’t attack my arguments because I did my homework before exposing them and I do not make any unfounded attack, or they just don’t want to reveal their info (IP for example) outside of their comfortable anonymous den.

      Both ways are making my point: most of their users are just sheeps who simply have no clue and troll businesses reputations because they just follow anonymous influencers (a.k.a. MyWot Platinum members).

  15. They have now blocked me from commenting and have disabled my account for “repeatedly insulting other users”…

    Guess the truth is a horrific insult to Platinum members and Sami…

    What a bunch of morons. These guys need to be exposed far and wide…

    1. I’ll have to dig a little in their forum, but I’ve seen them more than once warning newcomers about their language, but they have no problem when their regular users are bullying and taking these guys for morons… It’s like being back at school…

  16. I did an experiment this weekend with my customers- asked them to help me do a test. I had them go to mywot and note the ratings numbers on the bars, click an excellent rating in all 4 categories, then save it and see what happens. Then I had them report back to me.

    Almost 50 customers did this- when I sent the email on Friday, my numbers were 11, 11, 12, 19 for the ratings, from top to bottom. Every customer that rated then got back to me (I have very loyal customers). So after all those ratings comments, my ratings were still: 11. 11. 12, 19.

    Not ONE point move on anything after almost 50 people rated it.

    Another interesting observation.

    Bob Volk

    1. Yep, that’s due to their weight system. Their regular users (including platinum) have so much weight that saying to webmasters to ask their customers to come vote the site up is just a trick to increase their own account number.

  17. Originally, when I first started to complain about the rating on my site (after a few customers had alerted me to the pop up warning from them), Sami told me that it should be no problem- just have some of my customers come and balance out the comments/ratings. After 120+ positive comments- they blocked my account from getting anymore (why?? isn’t that the point?). Then Sami told me to make sure they “rated” the site as comments don’t do anything.
    Obviously honest ratings don’t do anything either.
    What a crooked system…

    1. And in the meantime you brought them 120+ new accounts…

  18. Alex

    MyWot is simply an online Mafia web rating joke. They are corrupt, self centered, and false. If anyone wants to fall for their lies, so be it.

  19. Tim Buist

    I really appreciate your efforts with this article. What a bizarre situation. The fact Facebook has partnered with them is especially disturbing. Get the word out that mywot is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    1. Luckily, since this post was written, Facebook seems to have ended their deal with MyWot and partnered with other more reliable services.

    2. Tijn

      Have they? Your link to your blog was still getting “alerted” this morning.

    3. For some reason I am not getting the warning anymore.. I thought their deal was off. Apparently I was wrong.

    4. Phoenix

      I see no signs of this. as I have just seen sites ‘confirmed’ or ‘denied’ based on MyWOT rating. What are your sources to confirm this please?

  20. Tijn

    Time to fight back.

    Facebook is still using WOT to test outbound links. But there are ways around it.

    Thanks for one fantastic blogpost!! Its about time this got some new attention.

  21. Joeal Manimtim

    Great post! you really went above and beyond to prove yourself.

  22. Holly Jahangiri

    A MyWOT/Facebook deal?

    Oh, dear God, no. I haven’t checked my standings in a while; I discovered the site while defending a friend from unfair, negative ratings. My site (along with others similarly involved) were immediately targeted for retaliation. When I complained, I was given lectures. A few users offered genuinely helpful suggestions; several of the “power users” (which they sort of denied having, despite their obviously special status) clearly relished their power over the “helpless.” I made a few improvements based on the genuinely HELPFUL suggestions, and got enough fair and positive reviews to bring my site back into the green. But look at my site, Steven. I don’t sell anything directly. I do not, nor have I ever, collected info from or encouraged interaction by minors (I’m a mom and a children’s book author – I firmly believe it’s up to parents to monitor their children’s use of the Internet, and I am not their nanny, nor am I out to collect their personal info.) So how did I earn ratings in the deeply red? I still believe it was because I stood up to them and criticized their site – just as you’ve done here.

    Facebook? Really? The day that happens, I’m so out of there. (I’ve never even threatened that one before – we’re all hooked on Facebook, right? But no – I feel strongly about this one. I’ve steered clear of the hornets’ nest for a couple of years, now, but it sounds like things have not changed for the better.)

    1. Unfortunately the deal is in place.

      Most of the members of WOT will just trash you if you disagree with them and they tend to be uneducated about the subjects they are judging (often voting down a whole industry just because they don’t understand what it’s all about).

      The people who rely on WOT to know which sites they can safely visit are probably as stupid as one can be. It’s like entrusting your car keys to a complete stranger because he tells you that driving is dangerous.

      Trusting a bunch of anonymous strangers (trolls) rather than their own judgement is clearly a demonstration of their lack of education.

  23. Dion

    Our company got slammed recently too. The funny part is, while we’ve been aware of it for about 6 months (as of this posting) we didn’t really bother because the power users which rated our site… aren’t even from the country in which we provide our service. So, like you said, how would they know?!

    At first, it was actually McAfee’s SiteAdvisor blocking our links from Facebook. Our founder contacted McAfee and I believe clarified many wrongs. We got moved out of their negative ratings. Things were fine and dandy for about 3 days, when suddenly myWOT messages started appearing on our links.

    So, we started to bring our conversation to myWOT, as they have minimal-to-no contact options on their site to clarify things. One senior member (don’t know if he’s platinum or not) advised us that we can get our community to post good ratings on our behalf so long as we don’t pay them (which we didn’t of course!). Within hours of us posting on our blog to our community, we had well over 6 pages of positive feedback. By later afternoon, all positive feedback was deleted and what left were the negative ones from their power users. Even our founder’s long message was pushed to the end of page 2 of 2. Many of my colleagues accounts, including my own, were banned. Many of us didn’t even leave a comment.

    GL to those affected. Hopefully you resolve your issues. We’ve been trying quite hard with little success. We were improving our ratings bit by bit, but the power hungry children with their platinum status screwed us once again.

  24. I could have cried when I read your report on WOT. They pulled the same stunt with us.

    Our little business in a tiny remote area of the US. Is beloved by all who come here. We work with puppies, creating and caring for them. Vets rave about us, people return and bring friends and family to purchase from us. Our integrity is par to none. We work very hard in all aspect of our business. 18 families are involved in our group.

    BUT WOT put as very poor and untrustworthy and unreliable.

    I tried to combat them to no avail. When i wrote to them they did not answer. When I complained on their forum, my complaint was removed (deleted) I was black bared from entering the site again.

    How can we protect ourselves from their Tierney?
    I lost a sell over the problem.
    Kapersky says they are a virus and would not let me download them. HELLO!!!!

    Do you have any ideas to help fix this problem???
    Please anyone can you help?
    Cordia Bernal

    1. Cordia, I’m sorry to hear about your bad experience with MyWot… Unfortunately, until now, I have found nothing to do except sharing this post with all my contacts so that people know what’s going on… They are cautious but they might take a mistake at some point and target a website big enough to sue them.

  25. Moggy

    I hate this myWot and other totalitarian web reputation lists.. These days it’s impossible to host an EXE file on your site for small software developer, as there are tens of different “security” crapware available, and there is a very high chance your app will be flagged by one of them just for nothing – that’s called a false positive and is a very common today. That’s a REAL headache for small software developers, as even if you contact those “security” companies and ask them to exclude your software, they may refuse your request for no reason or remove it, but put back after some months. The real problem is they have absolutely no responsibility for their real malicious activity, and small developers have no chance to have them sued. They know that and become more and more aggressive every year. There are multiple stories over the net how a small useful application is reported as a virus or trojan and that may quickly destroy a small business and all the numerous days and nights spent on development.
    About that horrible myWot scam – once your software appear in ANY XXXing black list of any paranoid schizophrenic , or will be caught by 1 or 2 “nobody-knows” anti viruses on virusTotal – you are getting flagged by myWot and once and forever they will not restore your reputation, even after that false positive problem is solved.
    Moreover, the reputation there is managed by bots, and nobody cares are they right or not. Absolutely.
    I think we should push Facebook and other site using that crap so they will stop doing that. Banning this xxxing myWot is the best punishment they deserve.

  26. Glenda

    They totally trashed my legitimate small family business. The more I asked why, the worse my ratings got. I agree 100% with what you guys are saying. But what can a small business do to retaliate? Is there any way to take THEM down? Is there anything I can do?

    1. As far as I can understand, there is nothing you can do if you are only a small business owner. They are hiding behind anonymity. The only ones who can actually do something are big corporations, but as soon as you are in this category, the MyWot community magically stops attacking you…

  27. My site was also unfairly rated by WOT and there is nothing I could do to stop them. If they do not like your niche (for me it is reiki healing), then they will break you reputation. The partial remedy is that WOT will soon or later be recognized as being a low trust rating machine and eventually be banned by search engines if nothing changes soon. They probably are more careful with big businesses which may keep them alive for some more time I guess.

    What is the way out?

    WOT complains and re-evaluations are changing things to the worse. Webutation, for example, unfortunately does use the bad score of WOT in its total rating, so to switch over does not give you a way better result. By the way, webutation is actively contacting folks with low WOT reputation to drag them to their side. Why would they still take WOT as part of their rating portfolio then?

    I have no hopes to clear the situation concerning my WOT reputation soon and I only would suggest to not interact with them because it is useless.

    This blog is great because it shows that most unfaily scored sites originated from the same bunch of power users!! Discusting…

  28. Mywot Psychopathic

    Guys on Mywot.com are psychopaths. Simple as that. Someone says, the more you asked them why, the worse your ratings get..well, check Sadism symptoms to know why is that: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadism

  29. Nick Theinwit

    Your website is still “bad” on WOT and the research you put together is exactly the same as our experience with the same exact users. Even if WOT will not do anything about it, it is still good that you make these posts. I wish I would have seen this before we spent the time to submit and then fight back all the false claims that were made. We really thought that WOT had a good mission, but the high level users are taking advantage of the system. They even comment so in the CNet forum review of the mywot add-on.

  30. David Yancy

    Glad to see this page here. I actually tried to talk sense with them, and it just made it worse for me. They can write whatever they want, but then if you comment you are called a spammer. Their support does nothing to address this, and if you comment on Firfox, Chrome or CNET they just point back to their website and say this guy is a spammer.

  31. Judy Wei

    Their support does nothing to prevent this and it seems like it is a reoccuring problem across the web. I don’t understand myWOT. They labled me as a spammer when I tried to refute a claim from their mods.