Web of Trust Lies downrates flounder.com site!

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A group laughingly known as the Web Of Trust (WOT) has downrated flounder.com as being an unreliable vendor, and not being safe for security, privacy, or children.  This immediately tells you how trustworthy these ratings are.

What is odd is that, in attempting to find out what the ratings were, one rating apparently is by someone who disagrees with one of my articles (I can't tell because I can't see the contents) and has thus declared the entire site "useless", and another apparently reports that I am rated on some other site as having "malicious content".  So this "rating" system appears to be a popularity contest, and anyone can spread lies or repeat lies without any attempt being made to validate the truth.

Here's the screen snapshot of my site from the WOT Web site, taken on 5-Oct-10, if you don't believe me:

As for repeating unsubstantiated rumors, I checked the taz.net.au address, and under body_checks.domains, indeed, flounder.com is listed.  Exactly what this listing means is uncertain, and of course, no one but a total idiot would believe that spam with a particular return address actually came from that site (I often get nasty emails about "why are you spamming me?" and I start my replies "Hello, Osama bin Laden, nice to hear from you.  I guess you have been living in a cave in Afghanistan for so long that you are unaware that email return addresses are forged, by gleaning legitimate addresses from Web sites and newsgroups.  But I wish you well, and hope the U.S. military finds you soon and puts you out of your misery."  Thus, someone who stole my identity has created a bad rep for my site, and there was no attempt to validate the actual source of the spam.  I do not send spam, nor have I ever sent spam, nor would my ISP allow me to send spam. 

The closest I come to "malicious content" is when I point out that some of the Microsoft MSDN examples were written by incompetent programmers, or that Bill Joy made an ass of himself when he accused Microsoft of failing to be aware of security.

This alone proves how untrustworthy the Web of Trust Lies is: not only do they not validate lies and innuendo, they allow repeats of unverified lies and innuendo.  Furthermore, according to the email I received from them, I can artificially increase my score by asking friends to rate my site, thus turning it into a mere popularity contest.

Hi,

I'm sorry to hear about poor ratings (I assume we are talking about flounder.com). The WOT reputation rating show you how much Web of Trust users trust your site. Your site's reputation rating is based on ratings from our users. As a hosting service provider we are not in a position to validate user ratings or comments. Please note that we do not remove ratings or comments (unless they contain spam, profanities or clearly illegal material).

Please also note that leaving a comment in Web of Trust is optional. Most users only rate websites and do not leave a comment at all in scorecards. Thus the number of comments does not indicate how many users have rated a site. Comments merely give further information about those users' opinions who have chosen to leave a comment.

If you disagree with the rating or comments, I encourage you to do the following things. These steps have proven very effective in the past in similar cases.

  • Write your own comment on the scorecard and be sure to rate the site. Explain that you are the owner or employee of the company and why your service is good.
  • Contact the users who had left negative comments through their boards on the profile page and ask them to review or explain their comment and rating (you have to be logged in to do this).
  • Open a forum thread and ask our active members to rate the site and give feedback about it.
  • You can also ask your friends and customers to rate the site.

And to further demonstrate their unreliability, I cannot post any counters to these libelous statements because they attempt to attack my machine with client-side scripting; anyone who pretends to care about security would not use any form of client-side scripting on their Web site.

Update 6-Oct-10

I got two replies.  First, someone who is trusting enough to allow JavaScript found the full text of the third-from-the-bottom item:

"at least 1article on this site is utter bullshit (creating modeless dialogs with inheritance of modal window-classes which is not possible) . i really doubt that the author understands how the WINAPI works - beware of the bullshit, use alternative resources, there are plenty of them"

Sadly, for the fool who posted this, I published this technique because I use it quite often.  On the other hand, he displays his own total ignorance of Windows and MFC by saying "inheritance of modal window-classes which is not possible".  There is no such thing as a modal window class!  Of course, the assertion that I don't understand with Windows API is nonsense, since I have written a book about it.  I also taught courses in the raw GUI API for seven years, and I have been a Microsoft MVP for sixteen consecutive years.  In 2010, Microsoft designated me an "MVP of the Year".  I still teach courses in the Windows API, both advanced courses in Windows System Programming and one on Writing Device Drivers.  But "tha_specializt", who cannot even comprehend the elementary features of Windows and MFC, would be totally lost in such advanced courses. From time to time, I also teach their MFC course, which "tha_speciallizt" should take so he might gain some actual understanding of how to program. 

While I could take the time to explain all the technical details of why the person who calls himself "tha_specializt" (do we have someone with an ego problem here?  And someone who has to hide behind an alias because he is too cowardly to use his own name?) is spouting complete nonsense, it would only bore non-programmers, and actual experts would not need an explanation because they would already recognize that "tha_specializt" is a totally clueless individual.  And if he tried to read the explanation, he probably wouldn't be able to understand it.

Then, having sent a link to this essay to the WOT people, I got this reply:

If you ask other Web of Trust users to rate your site on the forum, it is not hard to predict that they will react negatively to www.flounder.com/web_of_lies.htm. In any case being polite always helps on the forum.

To which I replied

Given that I have been maligned by incompetence, I do not need to be "polite". To quote the new Wall Street movie: "You stop lying about me, and Iíll stop telling the truth about you"

No, I would not ask WOT members to vote on my site; in fact, I consider the whole notion that this is a popularity contest to be unethical. I have already posted links to my essay with my newsgroups, and they uniformly agree with me that your site is nothing but fraud.

Expect to hear from my lawyer.

Update 7-Oct-10

I received the following email:

Hi Joseph,

I removed one of the comments due to profanities. If you believe the remaining comment(s) is illegal we are happy to remove it(them) after receiving a valid Finnish court order.

Naturally it would be easier to simply contact the user and ask him/her to remove the comment or explain it.

Please note that all comments and ratings posted on the mywot.com website express the views of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the owners and administrator of this site. WOT operates as a hosting service provider as defined in the Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on certain aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce in the Internal Market, and in the Finnish Act on the Provision of Information Society Services (458 / 2002). WOT does not monitor or otherwise control the contents posted on the website by the content providers. WOT is therefore not legally liable for the contents.

You can find our contact address here:

http://www.mywot.com/en/aboutus
Kind regards,

Tuomo

Note how politely they tell me to go f--- myself.  Apparently, they feel they are protected because they are in Finland, and therefore it is going to be so expensive to get the court order that it will be impossible.  This is cowardice.  They feel it is fine to host lies, but not use the word "bullshit" in a post.

My integrity is not a popularity contest. 

So I went to the profile of the coward who goes by the handle "Danta V3.11".  Here it is:

Now, I deduce a fair amount from this.  For example, the "activity score" is 44,409, and the "ratings" is 288,171.  This suggests that what we have here is a "troll" someone who is trying to increase his scores by the moral equivalent of spamming.  So he finds a listing of unverified lies about Web sites, and uses it to create (quite possibly by some form of automated script) ratings which promulgate these lies.  So his input is deeply untrustworthy, yet he is allowed to spread these lies without restraint.  And the dishonest slime that maintain the Web of Lies are unwilling to remove any lies from their site, even when asked politely.

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The views expressed in these essays are those of the author, and in no way represent, nor are they endorsed by, Microsoft.

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Last modified: May 14, 2011