Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Web of Trust aka WOT - a visual warning for iffy websites

I use and like Web of Trust (WOT) which sits on my Chrome browser and looks at every link that appears in Google searches, and on Twitter, and gives me a quick rating on whether or not the site is dodgy. This doesn't mean you can abdicate responsibility for checking something out of course, especially as it is not perfect (see below) but it's an extra tool that can be useful.

"WOT is a community-based, free safe surfing tool for browsers that provides website ratings & reviews to help web users as they search, surf & shop online."

Not that long ago I wrote rather cautiously about one way in which I was enjoying its use (cancer clinics). I was cautious because I thought there was a marginally-above-zero chance that I might be comically and ineptly sued (however this appears to have dissipated hooray) but didn't want to grease the skids, so to speak.

Here are some screenshots of what it looks like when running (completely unobtrusively, other than the appearance of these circles) on a Google search:

Wikipedia is green but is it rated highly because it's given a fair account of this clinic and pointed out the concerns people have, or because it's a trusted web domain name on its own?

I think the green tick is to do with McAfee, the second icon is a green circle but I think it's always that - it's the second green circle that's of most interest. The darker green the more it's been rated trustworthy. However, the imdb link has a positive rating, not sure if this is 'gaming the system' or just inherits that imdb is mostly benign (other than a few attempts at pop-ups that is).

Here's what Twitter looks like... Tom's post has a grey circle with a blue question mark by it, this just means that the site hasn't been rated yet. My own blog is pale green (compared with the darker green of CivilSociety's page in the last tweet) but I'm not sure if that's because someone has (or someones plural have) said that my blog is fairly trustworthy or that it gets a free-ish pass being a Google site.

You can create an account and leave comments about websites, which are visible to others who have WOT installed (as far as I can remember I've never commented on any of the MoreNiche websites but have been interested to see their ratings as given by other people). Charlie Brooker posted a tweet the other day that said "Cinemas that don't screen films properly should be marked w/graffiti to alert those who care. Like the Hobo code:" and I think WOT has a touch of coding / alerting about it.

Further reading
The layered web - partially hidden conversations (by me, 3 December 2011, already linked in post above)

1 comment:

  1. There should not be two circles on the google results. Only one. It looks like a bug.


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