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Ongoing discussion - Malware[edit]

  • Regarding dispute resolution. User Jlascar has had outstanding concerns about the period of time where the Webshots Desktop software included a bundle with the Kiwee Toolbar when both products were owned by American Greetings. Kiwee Toolbar is known to be very difficult to uninstall and has been classified by some sites as Malware. I have been trying to strike a balance with Jlascar to preserve this information in the article on Webshots but to weight it accordingly. Webshots has been in existence since 1995 and has many components (e.g. website, etc.) in addition to the Webshots Desktop software. Additionally the bundling occurred only during 2010. To put this in context, I included a few sentences about the bundling under the business model section and authored a more detailed page for Kiwee Toolbar. This feels like a reasonable compromise, a NPV, and a balanced presentation for this article. What if the Google article had large sections about malware that appeared in Google search or was presented in advertisement keywords all over Google? Just showing an extreme position to help make my point. I hope that Jlascar is amenable to this compromise. Looper72 (talk) 19:01, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

  • The Malware Question for this page does not present a NPV. Webshots is no longer listed as distributing malware on hpHosts even though references suggest that this is the case. This makes these references inaccurate. The discussion about the bundling of this toolbar and its possible including of malware itself belongs on the Talk page because Webshots itself has 50 million users and 1-2 disgruntled users are not presenting a NPV. It would be similar to including a pages on deceptive advertising on the Google entry because of advertisements and links surfaced through their ad network.
  • Suggest that any malware issues be summarized on the Talk page. The rest of the entry has inaccurate information and inconsistent titling as well. Looper72 (talk) 06:27, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
While Webshots currently does not supply malware, they once did. I think it would be OK to reduce the section size, but complete removal would be censorship. See wp:censor. Jim1138 (talk) 07:19, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Agreed on not censoring. I think a way to go would be to restore the Aug 2011 portion of titles that breaks the history of the service into periods of different owners (which is an important component to its unique history) and then under American Greetings, "A number of Webshots users were unhappy when American Greetings chose to bundle their Kiwee Toolbar (which some sites list as malware) with the Webshots Desktop download." and then cite the blog post on Webshots with the complaints from users Looper72 (talk)
Per discussion below, editing the malware section for the page. Looper72 (talk) 23:31, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
Jlascar undid the edit above with no Talk discussion and a cursory glance. The restored page was inaccurate and contained faulty references. This update includes discussion of the toolbar and malware under the business model section as part of the history. Looper72 (talk) 21:23, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
—Preceding undated comment added 19:26, 9 March 2012 (UTC). 
Per discussion below? Discussing usually involves more than one person. It is clear to me that Looper72 (whose main interest in Wikipedia seems to be to edit the Webshots article - I'd be surprised if there is not any personal interest beyond such edits) with a positive bias is trying to censor the article. He has already been given two warnings for doing so. I therefore will undo the article until the issue can be further discussed with other editors jlascar (jlascar) --Jlascar 05:21, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
Yes, with Jim1138. You reinserted information with bad references and redundant as it was explained in the paragraph below. Please cite reasons for keeping a large irrelevant block of text for a service that has been in existence for 17 years. You appear to have a severe negative bias and a lack of respect for the references. Looper72 (talk) 18:57, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
Updated references of the Malware. In my opinion, Webshot's decision of abusing of its access to their -free and paying- customer's PCs to distribute malware that monitored their activities (malware which was very difficult to remove the from the infected PCs as stated in the references) is factual and deserves its own paragraph. I would not call the description of such information "A large irrelevant block of text". — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jlascar (talkcontribs) 03:04, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
your paragraph is entirely about the Kiwee Toolbar. The best solution is to dedicate a wikipedia page for that software and use a hyperlink to draw the comparison as the discussion is poorly weighted to the 17 year history of Webshots Looper72 (talk) 05:45, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Old section[edit]

  • Malware Questions about Webshots Desktop Software (08/2011 software download for PC does not bundle any toolbars or other programs. Allows the option to set as a home page) Narenpublic (talk) 21:07, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Funny that the user Narenpublic questions the neutrality of the article, taking into account that he/she has done 13 edits in Wikipedia since 2006, all of them related to this particular article [1]. The site did install the Kiwee toolbar in 2010 and many users complained about it, which I believe is notable enough to be mentioned in the article given the controversy it generated with its users. Again, a quick search in Google [2] shows the large number of occurrences of users asking how to remove it as well as many guides that show how achieve this (so they are not unsubstantiated claims) - They speak by themselves regarding whether this program is a tool or rather a piece of malware. Furthermore, the Kiwee toolbar uses various methods in order to resist normal uninstall procedures as any other legitimate program does (including manually deleting directories, unlocking files, stopping processes, unregistering DLL files and/or deleting registry entries) [3] [4] [5]. This is the typical modus-operandi of viruses and malware in general [6].
Regarding the references provided, the link it actually a compilation of these. I will add again the section specifying the year 2010 as suggested below.
Writing a NPV article is about enriching its contents with appropriate references, not just deleting them in order to make the subject sound better.
PD: The contents of the talk page have been rearranged to reflect the ongoing talk regarding the Article. Jlascar 02:29, 3 September 2011 (UTC)jlascar

Previously discussed points regarding Malware[edit]

Removed Malware section
I've removed the recently-added Malware paragraph, as it appears to represent only one POV, and the references weren't really strong enough to support it. Only one reference claimed that the Kiwee toolbar was "malicious", and the rest were just about how to uninstall it etc. And in a search, I also found references that suggest Webshots does not install malware [7], and that the Kiwee toolbar is not malware (an ehow link, but that site is blacklisted for other reasons). The section also described the situation in the past tense, without giving any indications as to when it was the case, or whether it is currently the case. If this section is to be there, I think it should be re-written to be neutral - eg to state that some users have been unhappy with the Kiwee toolbar, factually state what the toolbar actually does, that it is an optional install, make it clear as to the current state, etc, rather than stating the one view that webshots installs malware as if it were uncontested fact. -- Boing! said Zebedee 10:57, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

(I've just struck the "optional" bit, as it seems that at least some version installed it automatically - but the historical and current status would still need to be clarified -- Boing! said Zebedee 10:59, 17 April 2010 (UTC) )
I disagree. Actually there was an ongoing question on malware on this page before I started editiong the article (Aug/09) on this page, after people using the application started noticing the problem. You question whether it is malicious or not: According to Wikipedia, the definition of malware is "Malware, short for malicious software, is software designed to infiltrate a computer system without the owner's informed consent." which is exactly what it does. Looking at Webshots´ official blog I can see that they have an ongoing problem with malware check the 14/April/2010 messages. You can go through the long list if you want strong evidence whether "webshots installs malware as if it were uncontested an fact". If you scroll up, you´ll find further evidence from their apology, their official blog itself is part of the Webshots domain. The link that you provide yourself contains the following information at 23/April/2010: 1) 18/02/10 "A WebShots update silently installs Kiwee Toolbar into Firefox and IE. This toolbar is spyware and it changes the home page and default search engine to Bing!" 2) 28/01/10 "In the past month I nearly got two viruses from this site. I wasn't even downloading anything. One was a JS-downloader and was caught by avast!, while the other was caught only by Sandboxie and was named e.exe" Check 25/12/09 and 24/11/09... All these in the very first page and all related to malware. I will undo your deletion and invite you and other people to complement the article with your positive experiences with the Kiwee Toolbar, although a a quick search with Google shows in most of occurrences people asking how to uninstall/remove it (which is something I´d expect from malware). Jlascar 10:59, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Users unable to delete created accounts[edit]

  • Users are unable to ever delete their usernames. Members must manually remove content from their account but their selected username is never deleted from Webshots database. (The following FAQ provides the steps to empty an account steps to remove content from it)Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page).

Jlascar 10:12, 5 September 2011 (UTC)jlascar

Article lock[edit]

Based on the ongoing edit-warring between User:Looper72 and User:Jlascar about article content, I have locked the article for three days. The two editors - and anyone else who wants to voice an opinion - must work out the dispute out here on the talk page or seek dispute resolution. Any attempts to continue the edit war by either editor after protection expires may result in a block.--Bbb23 (talk) 23:15, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

Seeking a NPV article that is complete and reflects its history[edit]

A complete NPV article about Webshots should describe all its aspects and history. In 2010 one of the uses that Webshots gave to its customer's installed desktop application was malware distribution which affected many of them. This might be a fact that shareholders of Webshots might not like, but it happened and I wonder why should it be hidden or just barely mentioned in the article?

I had proposed a different section as I had seen that many articles show similar topics on its own paragraph, but I would like to hear another proposals, perhaps a paragraph within the article in a new section? I however think that just mentioned a short like about the subject is insufficient and should be expanded. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jlascar (talkcontribs) 05:19, 6 October 2012 (UTC)

I feel that the current mention is the weight that should be given to the malware incident; false positives by malware scanners are nothing unusual.--Jasper Deng (talk) 05:33, 6 October 2012 (UTC)

Re-activating user accounts and charging credit cards?[edit]

Very nicely done page.

I was writing an article about the rise and fall of webshots and found this blog:

Which claims (pretty convincingly, he shows screenshots from their web pages) that the "new" Webshots has reactivated user accounts and is again charging users $2.99 a month to their credit cards.

This sounds like the "negative option" tactics that AOL was using towards the end.



Joe Patent (talk) 14:46, 20 December 2013 (UTC)