WOT says you are dangerous

kateclarity's Avatar


26 Aug, 2018 01:54 AM

The website that checks for viruses, etc., "Web of Trust" has started labeling every single link in emails I get from any part of Daily Kos as "Not Safe". The WOT has always been reliable, and I've used it for years. I'm getting this kind of warning on the Working Families Party too, but not Planned Parenthood or Sierra Club or SPLC.

Visiting your site is fine, apparently, but clicking on any links in emails you send me seem like a bad idea.

So, I don't think it is my computer doing this. I think there is an attack on messages sent out from you and WF.

  1. 1 Posted by ptressel on 28 Aug, 2018 07:13 AM

    ptressel's Avatar

    kateclarity, just a caution:

    Web of Trust got into trouble in late 2016, when it was discovered that they were selling information they gathered about people's browsing history, and that the information they were selling contained material that could identify the users. This was widely reported, so I'm just picking out one article that goes into detail about what was in their terms of service.


    As you're pointing out, crowdsourced opinions can be scammed, especially if people are directly asked for an opinion, rather than inferring it from behavior that the user can't easily spoof, or doesn't know is being observed.

    Does WoT ask users directly to report bad websites? If so, then it can be spoofed.

    It would be good to confirm with someone else (or better, several someones) using WoT if they see the same thing. Do you know anyone else using it?

    If others see the same thing, then it would be appropriate to report it to WoT. Their logs may show a suspicious flood of flags against DKos and WFP

    (Sorry, Imma not install it to check. My AV software blocks bad sites. And they're not selling my info.)

  2. 2 Posted by kateclarity on 28 Aug, 2018 11:39 AM

    kateclarity's Avatar

    I just uninstalled it. I don't have time to investigate. They do ask users
    to rate websites. If Daily Kos isn't interested, I'm not. I guess I will
    just hope Chrome will be on it if I click on something terrible.


    Kate Ellison
    [email blocked]

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Daily Kos Staff on 28 Aug, 2018 05:34 PM

    Daily Kos Staff's Avatar

    Hello, and thanks for asking.

    What ptressel adds to the conversation may be relevant also. But I think the issue causing the alert from WoT is probably related to the form of the URLs we send out via email.

    If you look at the actual URL of a link in one of our emails, you'll see that it is NOT the URL that corresponds to the story link on our site. Instead, the URL for every one of our emailed stories starts with http://click.actionnetwork.org/ followed by a very long string of characters. That’s because we count the clicks and then redirect you back to the site. So that routing probably seems suspicious to WoT (for our site and quite possibly for other sites who use the same or similar mechanism).

    You still might want to keep WoT uninstalled for other reasons, but that's up to you.

    We appreciate your support of the mission of the site.

  4. Daily Kos Staff closed this discussion on 28 Aug, 2018 05:34 PM.

  5. kateclarity re-opened this discussion on 28 Aug, 2018 05:56 PM

  6. 4 Posted by kateclarity on 28 Aug, 2018 05:56 PM

    kateclarity's Avatar

    Yet that is not the address coming through in my email. for example, the
    first article has this address:

    which is not action network at all, but sendgrid.net. I think there is
    something wrong.


    Kate Ellison
    [email blocked]

  7. Support Staff 5 Posted by Daily Kos Staff on 28 Aug, 2018 05:58 PM

    Daily Kos Staff's Avatar

    No, nothing wrong. Sendgrid is also perfectly legitimate.
    Thanks for checking.

  8. Daily Kos Staff closed this discussion on 28 Aug, 2018 05:58 PM.

  9. ptressel re-opened this discussion on 29 Aug, 2018 12:02 PM

  10. 6 Posted by ptressel on 29 Aug, 2018 12:02 PM

    ptressel's Avatar

    I'm just posting this as a follow-up, and will close this request again after posting.

    kateclarity --

    Sendgrid is a large-scale email delivery service. I've used it.

    kateclarity and Support folks --

    I found a fairly recent Working Families Party email, and they were using ActionNetwork.

    If ActionNetwork's WoT rating is being spoofed, then that would also affect about a zillion other organizations that use them.

    Note spoofing WoT would be similar to Google-bombing. (Remember "santorum"?) Get a bunch of folks to install WoT, sign up for email from assorted liberal orgs using ActionNetwork. And then flag the ActionNetwork links to WoT.

    *However*, given that one of the relevant emails used Sendgrid rather than ActionNetwork, that makes it less likely that there is spoofing going on, and more likely that this is a glitch of some sort.

  11. 7 Posted by ptressel on 29 Aug, 2018 12:03 PM

    ptressel's Avatar

    Dagnabbit, I guess I don't get to close it, presumably because I didn't initiate it. Sorry...

  12. 8 Posted by kateclarity on 29 Aug, 2018 12:29 PM

    kateclarity's Avatar

    Yes, it is at the very least, a glitch. I've used it for years, and it has
    sometimes been an important protection. Now I have only whatever Chrome
    does. Sure hope it is enough.


    Kate Ellison
    [email blocked]

  13. Daily Kos Staff closed this discussion on 04 Sep, 2018 11:32 PM.

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