Facebook users can now click links from other users with a little more trust. Facebook and crowdsourced website reputation service Web of Trust (WOT) begin collaboration today to give Facebook’s over 500 million users reliable protection against dubious web links.
Web of Trust is based in Helsinki, Finland. Its user community rates web pages on how trustworthy they are, so the service is able to warn users if they try to access a website with untrustworthy content. Facebook user’s can’t themselves rate the websites, the ratings come from the WOT user community.
WOT’s reputation tool is already available as a free browser add-on. It has been downloaded over 20 million times. The user community has so far reported five million sites for phishing, fraudulent services or other scams. The browser add-on is not available on mobile browsers, but the Facebook protection will be available also for mobile Facebook users.
“We are excited about our partnership with Web of Trust — they share similar goals and approaches in giving users better control of their online experience,” said Jake Brill, Facebook’s manager of site integrity.
WOT claims its crowdsourced model regularly uncovers dangers and threats that automated algorithm-based systems miss. Typical examples include pointing out e-commerce sites with questionable business practices and giving advance notifications of content not suited for children.
The negotiations with Facebook and Web of Trust started about a year ago when Facebook connected with several website reputation service providers, Vesa Perälä, CEO of WOT Services, said in an interview earlier today. After some testing, Facebook decided WOT’s service was good enough to be integrated with Facebook. The deal was made in late April. The service has been live for one percent of U.S. Facebook users this week. It will start working for all U.S users today and then expand globally.
WOT has received funding from MySQL founder Michael Widenius’ investment company Open Ocean, Finnish Industry Investment and private investors