How Facebook and Web of Trust stops you from finding out important information

Vaccine Whistleblower Site Blacklisted by Facebook and Web of Trust (WOT)

Mar 29th, 2013 | By  | Category: Jeffry John AufderheideTop Stories

Web of Trust and Facebook regularly censor VacTruth.com.

Web of Trust and Facebook regularly censor VacTruth.com.
VacTruth.com has recently published articles on SIDS, a child dying shortly after being vaccinated, Bill Gates, autism, and vaccine failures. This information is being classified as “abusive” and “malicious” by Facebook.com, ultimately censoring important information from you and other parents.
How does this happen?
When we want to share an article with you on Facebook, we post a hyperlink, which allows you to click and view the article on our website. Frequently when you click on our Facebook links, you will be warned with a scary looking “Security Alert” such as the one displayed below.
Users regularly receive this "Security Alert" when they click articles VacTruth.com posts on Facebook.

Users regularly receive this “Security Alert” when they click articles VacTruth.com posts on Facebook.
As you can see from the alert, Facebook uses a partner named Web of Trust (WOT), owned by Sami Tolvanen and Timo Ala-Kleemola of Finland, to filter out “abusive” websites. [1]
But the real question is who and what is Web of Trust?

This is How Censorship Works in the 21st Century

An alert to someone clicking on a recent VacTruth.com article on their mobile device.

An alert to someone clicking on a recent VacTruth.com article on their mobile device.
Have you ever seen old gangster movies in which they demand money from shop owners for “protection?”
If the shop owner pays the gangster thugs, their property remains safe from any violence or vandalism. But, if the owner refuses to pay, bad things often happen in the form of broken windows, bullying of customers, or firebombing the establishment. This is called blackmail or extortion.
How does this example relate to WOT?
WOT calls itself the “… leading crowdsourced website reputation service” and uses a feedback system to give sites a reputation score. [1]
You can purchase their basic monthly reputation service for over 450 dollars a year. [2]
On the surface, this type of ranking system appears to be helpful. However, when you look behind the scenes, it’s reminiscent of typical mafia extortion tactics. Here’s how …

Anonymous Trolls

The entire WOT system is based on anonymous user ratings – which only encourage troll-like activity. What do I mean by this?
Some users are considered to be  power users, which gives their votes extra weight and access to mass ranking tools. [3] To show you how a few power users can tank ratings for a website, I want to share with you the graphic below. It currently reads:
Good site: 121 votes
Useful, informative: 199 votes
Child friendly: 2 votes
Spam: 1 vote
Hateful or questionable content: 5 votes
Ethical issues: 14 votes
Useless: 1 vote
Other: 5 votes
wot-3

Comment ratings disabled by someone at WOT to keep negative ratings by power users on top.
wot-4

VacTruth.com has poor ratings despite having overwhelmingly positive support.
The system is gamed. If you want to know how, read on…
Notice how someone has disabled comment rankings for VacTruth.com. Before this functionality was disabled, you could rank a comment with a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.” This means the comments with more “thumbs down” votes go to the back of the line and get buried.
At one point, this functionality was enabled for VacTruth.com, but now it has mysteriously been disabled. Why?
As you can see from the graphics, the responses to our site are overwhelmingly positive, yet the rating is extremely negative. This is one example of how a handful of power users have completely tanked the reputation rankings of the site.
Let’s take a look at one of the power users.

Holy Sock-Puppetry George Clooney!

I want to focus your attention on one power user in particular named SuperHero58 – trust me, you’ll want to stick around for this.
This particular power user can be seen posting negative comments on not only VacTruth.com, but also:
And if we look at the statistics for this particular power user, we can see he has rated over 561,760 websites since his account was created in May of 2010!
That is an average of 527 Ratings per Day, or 21 posts an hour for 1066 days. Does that seem a bit fishy – or better yet, spammy – to you? I seriously doubt this person visited all of the sites they rated. But, it gets better.
The power user SuperHero58 has posted over 561,760 since May of 2010.

This screenshot of power user SuperHero58′s profile shows he has posted over 561,760 website ratings since May of 2010.
Since the whole premise of WOT is anonymity, we can’t actually prove the identity of SuperHero58. However, I think we can come close.
While doing a little digging, I came across this forum post showing SuperHero58 complaining about the WOT search engine in the first person, implicating that SuperHero58 is one of the owners, or someone highly vested in the company.
Here is what a Web of Trust forum post by SuperHero58 says:
… I am not the average person and I do believe that my Wot Search, can and it will become # 1
We already have over 35 million users base, I do agree that we need a strong and super aggressive distribution, but also more exposure
I get very upset whenever I see advertised computer products, but never anything about WOT, not even a mention of it
I remember the first time I saw someone wearing a T shirt with the logo of Fire Fox, it caught my attention and that is how I got FF, I love word of mouth, but I will like for the people of the World to know that WOT has a search engine; money comes afterwards, never before
Are we good?
Yes, so let go for number one
Business angels will only come, if we believe and act on it
I would like WOT to opt in auto complete for those who want it and six month time to delete information, for those who want it to make it faster; if we pay attention to the reason so many made Google, and learn from the mistakes that drove so many away from them; I tell you that you will see billions flowing in for new projects with the WOT logo
I know that I sound like a dreamer, but most of the time dreams come true if we try
With all my respect to someone who knows more that I could ever imagine
In a light note , if a movie is made about WOT
I want George Clooney to play me : }” (emphasis mine) [4]
You are not a dreamer, SuperHero58. You are a THUG.

Conclusion

Think about this, as there are a few options to consider here.
First to ponder is that this forum post could be complete nonsense and written by someone who is highly delusional. Or…
We can ask a question like, “Why would this person want a movie to be made about WOT and want ‘George Clooney to play me?’”
Who is “me” referring to?
Is this Sami or Timo – one of the owners? If it isn’t, it seems like someone close to them who is highly vested in the success of WOT. Don’t you think?
If this is one of the owners, then WOT is pushing their own agenda by negatively rating websites firsthand!
This issue isn’t to be taken lightly, as it is censoring important information. It would also bring into question who is privately investing in this company and what their agenda is. Who are these private investors? Pharmaceutical companies? Bankers?
I’m highly suspicious of WOT and deeply concerned about their ability to censor information. Furthermore, it appears that there are people in power that can affect your ability to get vital information with the stroke of a few keys.
Ultimately, it’s you – the parents – who are censored.

Jeffry John Aufderheide is the father of a child injured as a result of vaccination. As editor of VacTruth.com, he promotes well-educated health professionals, informed consent, and full disclosure and accountability of adverse reactions to vaccines.
The Tap Blog is a collective of like-minded researchers and writers who’ve joined forces to distribute information and voice opinions avoided by the world’s media.
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7 Responses to “How Facebook and Web of Trust stops you from finding out important information”

  1. Anonymous says:

    When I see WOT I don’t see the words “Web Of Trust” I see “Waste Of Time” because that’s what it is.

  2. Jim Corwell says:

    I tried the links on Vactruth’s facebook page…and didn’t get one single warning from WoT, or facebook.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why on earth would anyone bother having a facebook account?

  4. Tapestry says:

    Jim, they maybe react to criticism – for a while. The totalitarian tiptoe.

  5. Tim Iacono says:

    These tactics stink to high heaven of vested interests. I for one feel that WOT has totally discredited itself in my eyes and I shall never consider them any better than untrustworthy and at worse purposely out to discredit those on their ‘hitlist’. Personally I think naturalnews is a superb site and, though perhaps they occasionally get things wrong, I cannot recall even one story within that site that concerned me. Goodbye WOT – THUMBS DOWN 2U lot 4ever.

  6. Tim Iacono says:

    Tap, love your site. Many of your sites stories reach my fbk group Truth Journal, though i’ll be moving it out of these at my earliest convenience. Keep up the excellent work. Tim

  7. WOT says:

    WOT is a free community-powered safe surfing tool that tells you which websites you can trust based on other users’ experiences. It protects you from threats that only humans can spot, such as scams, phishing, and bad online shopping experiences.
    Comments express the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of WOT. A site’s reputation is computed from ratings, not comments. Leaving a comment is completely optional and since users who disagree with the reputation are more likely to also write a comment.
    Both comments and comment votes have no effect on reputations, and comment voting is automatically disabled for all sites where the ratings are controversial to prevent abuse. You can learn more about ratings, comments, and comment votes here:
    http://www.mywot.com/wiki/FAQ#Ratings_vs._comments

    The WOT system is meritocratic. We have designed the system to analyze each user’s rating behavior from several aspects, including statistical modeling, in order to determine their trustworthiness. When you start using WOT, your ratings have minimal weight, but if you keep rating sites consistently, your ratings grow more trustworthy over time. The idea is to make the system difficult to manipulate. However, users who rate a lot of websites have no more weight than those who rate fewer sites. In fact, the most active users are often considered less reliable by our system, because their behavior is rather abnormal. You can learn more here:

    http://www.mywot.com/wiki/FAQ#Ratings_aren.27t_equally_reliable
    http://www.mywot.com/wiki/FAQ#People_who_rate_a_lot_of_websites_are_spammers

    WOT does not adjust reputations manually under any circumstances as well, as you cannot buy a good reputation.
    Trust seals are available only for those sites that have already earned a good reputation, and should the reputation decrease, the trust seal will be automatically removed. This is explained here:

    http://www.mywot.com/wiki/FAQ#WOT_sells_reputations_or_blackmails_site_owners

    If you have any further questions regarding WOT we recommend you to check:
    http://www.mywot.com/en/support
    http://www.mywot.com/wiki/FAQ

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