I just hate it when this happens. It drives me nuts when an idea comes about in response from the fires of a serious need, then they blow it.
Take this SiteAdvisor report done on Lockergnome. Nothing wrong there, right? Now try taking a look at Yahoo. Right off that bat the bias comes to light.
First we have a green mark for Doubleclick. UM, OK. Last time I checked most spyware/adware cleaners attempt to remove this as a benign tracking cookie. Ya I said it was benign. Still, it’s a tracking cookie none the less.
SiteAdvisor sees no issue here. Nope, the ad company receives a green mark from them. So in their eyes, tracking cookies must be OK. Fine, those cookies don’t bother me all that much I guess. However SiteAdvisor might want to allow users to determine this for themselves with a yellow warning, don’t you think? Provide the facts of what it does and then let the user figure it out from there.
Back on the Yahoo rating page, we learn that they blanket a large number of Yahoo’s other content under the same misguided umbrella. Why? It’s no secret that in the latest release of Yahoo Messenger is a hijack waiting to happen, right? Look, by default it installs their toolbar. But what’s worse is that if you uncheck the toolbar installer, that same toolbar will install anyway! Sounds like a company I’d like to do business with! Not! Even though they are rating the Website itself, they are also rating attached downloads by default. The messenger is an attached download. Yet it gets the red carpet treatment? Not very clear, folks.
With everything said, my biggest complaint about SiteAdvisor is how vague they are with their determinations. “It made registry changes?” A program did that? So what! Unless they’d like to explain the harm that the specific changes are creating, then stop wasting our time.
Back to ranting on Yahoo!
Don’t get me wrong now, they are right with their reviews more often than not. However it’s difficult to trust a source like this when they give Yahoo a free pass! I mean, if a company chooses to bundle something else with their software, fine. Just so long as I have the option to decline should I desire to, I am OK with this. But Yahoo has been getting away with this too long as far as I concerned. Not the fact that they ignore your request NOT to install their toolbar per se. Rather the fact that companies like SiteAdvisor have obviously biased users creating ratings on their behalf. It’s a shame, could have been something that I would be recommending.
At the very least, they could start clarifying the dangers of specific registry changes rather than cutting and pasting the details from security Websites. Seriously, it would be appreciated.