Facebook Teams Up With Web of Trust
Web of Trust is a community driven website reputation service. It is available as a look-up service on the company website, and as an automated software for various web browsers.
The service is being used by millions to verify a website's reputation before the site is visited. The browser extensions handle those checks automatically and display notifications to the user that a site's reputation is not the best.
The service rates websites in the categories trustworthiness, vendor reliability, privacy and child safety. Web of Trust today announced a cooperation with Facebook, that could multiple the company's popularity and user base in short time.
Facebook has integrated Web of Trust's reputation ratings into their security system. From now on, all outgoing links on Facebook will be checked by Web of Trust to protect users from accessing malicious or dangerous websites.
Facebook users may see an intermediary page when they click on an outgoing link on the social networking site.The notification reads:
The link you are trying to visit has been classified as potentially abusive by Facebook partners. To learn more about staying safe on the Internet, visit our Facebook's security page. Please also read Wikipedia articles on malware and phishing.
Website reported for spam, malware, phishing or other abuse. This warning is provided in collaboration with Web of Trust. Learn More.
Facebook users can ignore the warning to visit the page, get additional information about the warning by clicking on the learn more link, or go back to the page they were previously on.
All links that have been rated as untrustworthy by Web of Trust will show this or a similarly looking notification message.
The warnings are currently added on Facebook US. Other countries will follow next week after which the new security system will be available globally.
The addition of an outgoing link scanner improves security for Facebook users considerably, especially since there was no system in place before. Facebook has now added a powerful tool to their site that checks all outgoing links to warn users of potentially dangerous websites.
The integration of Facebook should give Web of Trust a noticeable boost. It is likely that the install base will rise significantly shortly after the roll out of the security system on Facebook.
This will have an effect on reports and ratings as well, considering that an increase in users should increase those numbers as well.
Interested users can read the announcement over at the Web of Trust blog. Facebook has not made an announcement yet on their website. It is likely that this is going to follow soon.
Not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand it may protect people from visiting dodgy sites, on the other hand there could be many false positives, and if the user sees it too many times then they may end up just ignoring the messages anyway.
It also seems like a way that unscrupulous parties attack other sites by harming their ratings.