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Safe Surfing Tool Web of Trust Sued over Community Warnings

As some of you already know, ten Internet companies based in Florida, US, have filed a lawsuit against WOT Services, the provider of the safe surfing tool Web of Trust. The companies are requesting WOT to remove ratings and comments related to them. WOT is accused of defamation, violating rights, conspiracy and manipulating algorithms. WOT believes the case is completely baseless and has suggested dismissing the case in the court of justice in Florida.

The lawsuit indicates that WOT ratings are taken very seriously both among the Internet users and website owners. This further highlights the importance of rating and commenting on web sites objectively and based on real experiences. WOT is already considered as one of the best tools to fight fraud on the Internet and we continue to further improve it together with our community. So keep up the great work and continue the battle against all the bad stuff out there.

Read the press release about the law case.

If you wish to help us to cover the legal costs, you can make a contribution to WOT.

Safe surfing,
Vesa P.

Update (Dec 2011): The case was dismissed!

Comments

  1. User picture
    • Jazspeak on Thu 17 Feb 2011
    • 01:59:01 PM UTC

    RE: Safe Surfing Tool Web of Trust Sued over Community Warnings

    I wonder if they are going to use that famous firm of joke lawyers, Sue Grabbitt and Runne.

    ~Music is not just for the Masses~

  2. User picture
    • illyax on Thu 17 Feb 2011
    • 03:16:14 PM UTC

    RE: Safe Surfing Tool Web of Trust Sued over Community Warnings

    Congrats guys!

    Being sued by a scammer is a sure sign that WOT works. Ahh, I am so happy when these spammers and scammers are suffering, at least a little. Enjoy the publicity, I'll go and check my mailbox for more spam to report!

  3. User picture
    • IssViews (not verified) on Thu 17 Feb 2011
    • 05:42:40 PM UTC

    RE: Safe Surfing Tool Web of Trust Sued over Community Warnings

    This was expected as they asked for site reviews with the intention of using this to initiate court action. I would deem this as entrapment. Plus there was deceipt in their posts and requests.

    Not encouraging when this is presented to a judge IMO.

    I have every confidence in WOTs ability to show the court the type of person who exploits the US federal legal system for personal gain. IMO they are cretins.

  4. User picture
    • bzzbzzbzz on Fri 18 Feb 2011
    • 07:36:49 PM UTC

    RE: Safe Surfing Tool Web of Trust Sued over Community Warnings

    So, all the ratings in Amazon, Best buy, etc should not be allowed either !
    If any person can't rate a compagny, we go straight to a dictature. All compagny will do whatever they want and we won't be able to protect ourselves.

    • User picture
      • IssViews (not verified) on Sat 19 Feb 2011
      • 11:12:00 PM UTC

      RE: Safe Surfing Tool Web of Trust Sued over Community Warnings

      This lawsiut has nothing to do with Amazon and other sites. It has been brought on by Difrawi and Defrawy. I would suggest you read the press release and familiarise yourself with the thread detailing that company and its history.

  5. User picture
    • Dutch Mountain on Fri 18 Feb 2011
    • 08:56:08 PM UTC

    RE: Safe Surfing Tool Web of Trust Sued over Community Warnings

    Ratings and comments are freedom of speech and opinion.
    Let's be glad that we have that in the free democratic world.
    Even IF those companies can prove that some ratings and/or comments are false, than still WOT service isn't responsable.
    It's the responsability of the members, each by themselves.
    And here I can appoint back to sentence one in my reaction.

    A lawsuit like this should encourage us all to go on with our activities on WOT. And to remain giving honest, fair and decent ratings ( and comments ).
    I agree with bzzbzzbzz

    Raise the dike ( aka "Dutch mountain" ) ! Or the internet gets flooded and ends up as a stinking swamp ! - The fight for a durable world wide web goes on. Read more at : http://peterswebsafety.com

    • User picture
      • IssViews (not verified) on Sat 19 Feb 2011
      • 11:17:57 PM UTC

      RE: Safe Surfing Tool Web of Trust Sued over Community Warnings

      And to remain giving honest, fair and decent ratings ( and comments ).

      Agreed but where is your right to open, honest, free speech when you are threatened with lawsuits by companies that have a very dark side which use this to threaten and shut you up, knowing the majority of people can't afford legal battles. If we buckled to all the scammers and other criminals who brought action this way, where would the trust and honesty be within WOT? The tool would be worthless.

  6. User picture
    • AlphaCentauri on Fri 18 Feb 2011
    • 11:32:23 PM UTC

    RE: Safe Surfing Tool Web of Trust Sued over Community Warnings

    Using lawsuits to suppress people's right to express their opinions makes me not trust him or his companies. Mission accomplished, doofus.

    It's bizarre a guy with a half dozen aliases would have the guts to file a lawsuit complaining that people don't trust him.. If this were the script for a movie, it would be dismissed as unrealistic.

    Yes, WOT has a wiki. Check there first for fast answers to many questions like "Why is my site rated red, and how do I fix that?"

  7. User picture
    • russian lady on Sat 19 Feb 2011
    • 09:33:48 AM UTC

    RE: Safe Surfing Tool Web of Trust Sued over Community Warnings

    I think litigation is the most recent case. So things do not.

  8. User picture
    • prepcoach on Sat 19 Feb 2011
    • 06:50:09 PM UTC

    RE: Safe Surfing Tool Web of Trust Sued over Community Warnings

    Problem with WOT is that there is no real moderation of comments. I have seen quite a few very vicious and plainly false comments about sites, obviously by ignorant malicious and ill-intentioned people. Yes, the Internet, too, has its scum.

  9. User picture
    • Task99 on Tue 22 Feb 2011
    • 11:49:03 PM UTC

    RE: Safe Surfing Tool Web of Trust Sued over Community Warnings

    Is that why WOT isn't working for me?

  10. User picture
    • apolloshine on Thu 24 Feb 2011
    • 04:40:54 PM UTC

    RE: Safe Surfing Tool Web of Trust Sued over Community Warnings

    WOT stands for the right cause which benefits the users.Ratings are user opinions which differs from individual to individual for which WOT is not held responsible.

  11. User picture
    • Mgibbons62 on Fri 25 Feb 2011
    • 06:55:39 PM UTC

    RE: Safe Surfing Tool Web of Trust Sued over Community Warnings

    New to this new tool, but I'll tell you something when my daughter went to a site "Webster" she ended get ALOT! of viruses and scamer and something trying to hack in on her unit. And she had WIFI so I pulled the unit out of the house in the car brought it to my work where they were able to get rid of what ever it was and he loaded Mozilla Firefox and WOT!!! What a difference and this will sure help here in her searches for words. Mind you I bought her a Webster & Thesaurus CD for her school work.

    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AND LOOKING FORWARD TO USING THIS FEATURE. THANKS!!!

  12. User picture
    • winter06 on Thu 03 Mar 2011
    • 02:13:20 AM UTC

    RE: Safe Surfing Tool Web of Trust Sued over Community Warnings

    I receive e-mails from frontsight.com, which WOT rates as Good.
    Front Sight recommended targetfocustraining.com, which WOT rated as Unsatisfactory in my e-mails, even though no one has rated or commented on the sight.

    Being a community-powered site, I would think, even if a site is not registered with WOT, they should be given the benefit of doubt with Not enough supporting evidence; please give your rating.

    There is enough character assassination in the media and blogs.

    • User picture
      • IssViews (not verified) on Tue 08 Mar 2011
      • 06:54:00 PM UTC

      RE: Safe Surfing Tool Web of Trust Sued over Community Warnings

      Front Sight recommended targetfocustraining.com, which WOT rated as Unsatisfactory in my e-mails

      The site has not been rated and shows grey. This does not mean it is untrustworthy at all, just not been rated or reviewed by people. I suggest you post a website review request in the forums as this post is not relevent to the blog topic.

  13. User picture
    • dechamp on Fri 15 Apr 2011
    • 06:15:38 PM UTC

    RE: Safe Surfing Tool Web of Trust Sued over Community Warnings

    I install WOT on every machine that comes through this shop. I even put it on my Macs (I use it to choose the best research and info sites). It really helps when doing research on virus/trojan removal as many of the sites that come up in a Google search are the frauds themselves.

    I explain and demonstrate WOT when clients come to get their machines. I show the kids how it works also. Several times, the blocked pages have been overridden by clients and the results were disastrous.

    I have seen false reports by people who feel that a company is a rip-off, but in general PC users needs to be able to determine the real function of a site, and how it rates to other sites.

    I agree with an earlier poster who mentioned Amazon. Ratings from impartial users or buyers are very important and the only tool we have to protect us from the crap and scams available on the internet. Ratings by a large enough sample of users are fairly accurate.

    This lawsuit is no surprise to the developers of WOT. Even I knew it would happen when I compared WOT's results with SiteAdvisor (they started out tough and accurate and have folded to the lawyers). You can run the programs side-by-side and see what I mean on a search page. SiteAdvisor all green (McAfee should just quit), WOT mixed colors with plenty of comments to back up the ratings.

  14. User picture
    • Umbrella Corp. (not verified) on Sun 17 Apr 2011
    • 07:59:04 AM UTC

    RE: Safe Surfing Tool Web of Trust Sued over Community Warnings

    The saying must be correct then: the stronger the wind, the higher you are rising. In the end, whatever they will try to say against WOT or it's users, they are only proving the importance of WOT by their actions.

    If I were you, I would use the occasion to take a nice trip to Miami. Think about it: a bit of sun, a sweet drink, a walk on the beach, bikinis and shorts... gosh, the world can be so smooth if you let it be. ;)

  15. User picture
    • mk0071 on Wed 27 Apr 2011
    • 05:15:59 PM UTC

    RE: Safe Surfing Tool Web of Trust Sued over Community Warnings

    Do any of you making comments here own a commercial site?

    The big problem with WOT is that there is no accountability whatsoever on behalf of the person 'rating' a site. Anyone can go to a site, and just out of spite, give it a terrible rating - for no justifiable reason whatsoever. No reason is required, no comments are required, they give the site owner no recourse to offer their view.

    And before all of you shout nonsense such as 'well if the site was good, people would rate it well', think about it - for most sites, it just takes 1 or 2 jerks to affect the rating of a site.

    If everyone had the best intentions, WOT would make sense. Obviously not everyone does.

    The issue is that what WOT is doing, for sites that have a 'bad' reputation, is Slander / Defamation of Character - users are bashing a site and giving an unfair and in many cases untrue assessment.

    From a legal viewpoint, you can publicly say anything about a person or company that is true. But if it's not true, if it's just 'your opinion' and it harms the company or person, then you are engaging in Slander. This is what WOT amounts to for many, many websites.

    WOT is simply a popularity tool - any site, regardless of the actual safety or 'vendor reliability' can gain a positive reputation, by just encouraging friends to rate it well. And vice-versa - a good web site / company can be given a bad rating by a competitor (or just a single angry customer - every company has these, it's impossible not to) encouraging their clients / friends to bash the site. ZERO accountability for the person rating the site.

    It's unfortunate, but I'm joining the lawsuit against WOT.

    Something like McAfee SiteAdvisor makes sense - this doesn't.