I presented today at the Clean Software Summit in California on a problem that has bedeviled responsible app makers and harmed consumers for far too long: Detractor Web Sites. As I explained, wayward affiliates are typically behind the creation of these web sites. They use inaccurate and disparaging marketing to unfairly monetize traffic or sell products on behalf of vendors they are promoting – and without clearly disclosing their relationships with those vendors.
By tearing down responsible competitors through false or misleading claims, and by deceiving consumers, these affiliates are able to generate profits. But these are ill-gotten profits. The practices are wrong. And I think we should generate support behind improved mechanisms for stopping them.
While I gave my presentation today on behalf of PCDriver Headquarters – and was happy to share the stage with Will Treves of IAC, who also decried this practice – this is exactly the kind of information I’m delighted to share with other CleanApps.org members. Accordingly, I’ve attached the slides in our members only section. And it’s the kind of content I hope other CleanApps.org members will offer to post on the CleanApps.org forum and blog.
The fact is, when responsible app makers unite to share content and shine a light on improper practices like this, we make it more likely that the gatekeepers in the system – the anti-virus companies, platforms, certifiers, and government regulators – will consider taking action to put an end to these practices. And if they can do that, they will protect responsible app makers and consumers, and take one more step towards ensuring there’s a fair app marketplace for all.
That’s something I believe all of us can rally around. And it’s something I hope CleanApps.org can help make a reality.