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Malwarebytes blocking center/conservative sites as clickbait

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I saw the blog post about the extension being released. I downloaded it and a great deal of website I visited that are center or right are listed as clickbait. I am not talking about infowars. I am talking about conservative websites. Who gets to decide what is "clickbait" or "Fake news" I mean buzzfeed is clickbait but it is not listed as clickbait. I get it's in beta but I just want to know who get's to decide what sites get the cut and what don't what is the criteria? I mean even legitimate big news websites have clickbait and misleading/fake news. I know I can bypass the clickbait popup but that's not actually stopping the issue. Your consumers are from all over the political spectrum. Is this going to be fixed?

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Disclaimer: Please note that our Clickbait filtering is NOT politically motivated at all.

Clickbait filtering is divided into two parts, 1) Domain based and 2) Content based

1) Our clickbait website data is sourced from a group of academic researchers.

any site that falls into the domain category will display a clickbait banner that can by bypassed, if you feel that warning is incorrect, please let us know and will look into it.

2) Content based filtering is transparent, all the known pattern based clickbait content will be filtered out from the webpage and number of blocked content will be displayed on the right corner under the malwarebytes logo. Some of the example are: 

  • Sponsored content
  • you may also like

Content based clickbait filtering works on all sites like news, social, tech etc.

 

 

Edited by rakeshsejwal

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4 hours ago, rakeshsejwal said:

Disclaimer: Please note that our Clickbait filtering is NOT politically motivated at all.

Clickbait filtering is divided into two parts, 1) Domain based and 2) Content based

1) Our clickbait website data is sourced from a group of academic researchers group.

any site that falls into the domain category will display a clickbait banner that can by bypassed, if you feel that warning is incorrect, please let us know and will look into it.

2) Content based filtering is transparent, all the known pattern based clickbait content will be filtered out from the webpage and number of blocked content will be displayed on the right corner under the malwarebytes logo. Some of the example are: 

  • Sponsored content
  • you may also like

Content based clickbait filtering works on all sites like news, social, tech etc.

 

 

Can you disclose who these academic researchers are? 

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@badcam3 unfortunately we can't reveal our sources as some of them are proprietary. 

if you feel a particular site is serving clickbait and is not blocked or the other way around, we are more then happy to add the site in our research list for processing. 

 

Again, Malwarebytes clickbait filtering is not politically motivated, blocking is purely based on behavior of questionable value.

Edited by rakeshsejwal

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There would never be any political bias by "academic researchers" right? I've done my own test and the clickbait flag of said extension is absolutely politically bias. Main stream conservative sites/domains are flagged while far left and even antifa supporting sites are not. Using these academic researchers is kin to saying you fact checked using snopes or wikipedia.

Very sad IMO. 

 

 

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@dcollins I'll push my list to pastbin and provide you a link (w/edit). I would like to rem out my results and have you look at the data independent of my results.

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As promised: https://pastebin.com/j36B96Gy

Same test run on liberal/progressive sites/domain list with zero flagged as clickbait (no issue with this at all) as it should be. What surprised me was running the test on Antifa sites/domains; none of them were flagged, even organizations banned on major social media platforms were not flagged by the extension. This is disturbing imo.  

 

 

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This is absolutely happening. 

Every single *remotely* conservative website I visit flagged as "potentially harmful". 

I'm not even a conservative and I see it. I sincerely hope your *actually* addressing this because it seems your "analytics team" has been hijacked by ideologues.

I'm not too keen on political censorship on either side of the aisle; so if this going to be a theme moving forward, I'll be moving on.

 

Please fix it.

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I've been getting these "Clickbait" warnings from Malwarebytes on most of the conservative sites I have visited for the past two months. I called the company and complained, and the support guy just gave me their standard bullshit response, saying they are doing this to protect my computer. I explained that clickbait doesn't hurt a computer, that none of these sites contain clickbait, and I don't use Malwarebytes to be protected from clickbait. He just kept reading me the official response. Very disgusting.

Tonight I tried to make a donation to Dave Brat, a Republican running for Congress in Virginia. After filling out my credit card information, the last step was to select the button, "Donate." When I clicked on the button, Malwarebytes blocked my browser saying, "Suspicious Activity," and the donation didn't go through. 

I don't know if this is against the law, but it should be! What a shame to see Malwarebytes stoop to such such dishonest and fraudulent behavior. The company belongs in that same basket of deplorables that includes Facebook, Twitter, and Google -- and maybe Ben & Jerry's. At least none of those other disgusting companies are going so far as to block donations to Republicans.

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Simply turn off clickbait detection - for those particular sites or altogether. It's a simple switch in the extension front panel.

Clipboard01.jpg.79d854b2ebdc09e9df2cb38efce701e5.jpg

Nobody is forcing you to have clickbait detection/blocking turned on; nobody is forcing you to use the Firefox extension at all.

That's entirely your choice.

If you want to see adverts then don't use an adblocker, if you want to see clickbait then don't use a clickbait blocker - simples.

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I disabled Ads/Clickbait in my browser extension, and I am still blocked from the site. The only suspicious activity is that of Malwarebytes! This is pure political bias.

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We actually block all *.info sites as it's a highly trafficked domain for malicious activity. That's why you're seeing that block on that specific page. The main site is davebrat.com, but it's trying to load a website from trailblz.info. Again, this one isn't part of a clickbait detection, it's simply based on the fact it's from a .info site. We'll look into this to see about whitelisting that specific site.

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I just tried reloading the page davebrat.com, and I got the "suspicious activity" block. That was with both Malware/Scams and Ads/Clickbait deselected. Then I opened a new window in Chrome and went to davebrat.com with no problem. I selected both Malware/Scams and Ads/Clickbait ON, and reloaded davebrat.com, again with no problem. 

I have never encountered a web page for which you throw up the Clickbait warning that wasn't a conservative website. For example, you warn about clickbait for crimeresearch.org -- obviously because that site debunks popular gun control arguments. Convince me that this is not political bias.

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@MichaelMalcolm I am going to look into the davebrat.com issue.

As for Clickbait, we have revised out Clickbait protection module and I don't see any Clickbait warning on the crimeresearch.org 

 

 

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I had the same suspicions. There are Conservative Websites I went to that had the click/bait banner and the Liberal one's so far did not. Any Academic Research is going to come from a Liberal college. First Facebook, then Twitter, and now Malwarebytes??? I pay good money for licenses every year for your product and expect there to be no bias or I will take my business somewhere else.

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Thank you for bringing that site to my attention.  While it can't be blocked with any version of Malwarebytes, it can be eradicated with uBlock Origin for both Chrome and Firefox.  Thanks for the heads-up!

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Just a heads up Malwarebytes; Project Veritas James O'Keefe is now looking at your extension. I think you were given ample time to make adjustments after concerns of bias were brought to your attention.

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I'll just point out that the extension is still in beta testing and relies heavily on testers like you to bring specific sites to their attention in order that it not unintentionally block any site that it should not. 

Were all 100 of the sites you posted blocked or alerted to?

It's way past my bedtime, so I don't have time to test them all, but I only found about 10% of the few I tested gave me a "Clickbait" alert and some were not the site itself, but from an advertisement that the site was attempting to launch as a pop-up or pop-behind, which is something I don't want to see from any site I visit.

In order to show bias, I think you need to post a list of 100 far-right sites for comparison.

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Testing...

For now sites 1 - 30 from the list provided by @Sysopz are not blocked by the extension (I have firefox, but as an admin said at other thread, Firefox and Chrome extension use same database)

Continue testing, but seem than the list was useful to purgue the database

Anyway now thhan MBAM tem say use academic sources, I no doubt at your words than MB team no block by political bias.... but also no blind-trust at the sources, could be than some or any of they has political bias, or is questionable the way they consider "questionable content"

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@Sysopz

Based on your list  (all sites automatically went to an SSL site)  I have reviewed sites 100 to 86 from both Canada location and US locations in case of some type of difference via geo IP location.

We only currently block one of those sites and that is due to a Javascript threat found on the site. That site also is one of the most aggressive with Ads and is almost unreadable without some type of Adblocker. The other 14 sites are not blocked except some Ad type objects and are very readable.

 

86  strategypage.com    http://strategypage.com                                    Browser push notifications: No     Obvious Clickbait: No   Unrelated Ads: Yes       SSL: Yes  Data not secured by SSL: No alert   Mouse-over leave site Ad: No  Automatic Firefox blocking enabled: Yes  Tested from: Canada, US
87  cei.org http://cei.org                                                         Browser push notifications: No     Obvious Clickbait: No   Unrelated Ads: No Ads    SSL: Yes  Data not secured by SSL: No alert   Mouse-over leave site Ad: No  Automatic Firefox blocking enabled: NO   Tested from: Canada, US
88  www.fairus.org  http://www.fairus.org                                          Browser push notifications: Yes    Obvious Clickbait: No   Unrelated Ads: Yes       SSL: Yes  Data not secured by SSL: No alert   Mouse-over leave site Ad: No  Automatic Firefox blocking enabled: Yes  Tested from: Canada, US
89  joeforamerica.com   http://joeforamerica.com                                   Browser push notifications: No     Obvious Clickbait: No   Unrelated Ads: Yes       SSL: Yes  Data not secured by SSL: No alert   Mouse-over leave site Ad: No  Automatic Firefox blocking enabled: No   Tested from: Canada, US
90  madworldnews.com    http://madworldnews.com                                    Browser push notifications: Yes    Obvious Clickbait: No   Unrelated Ads: Yes       SSL: Yes  Data not secured by SSL: No alert   Mouse-over leave site Ad: No  Automatic Firefox blocking enabled: Yes  Tested from: Canada, US
91  independentsentinel.com http://independentsentinel.com                         Browser push notifications: Yes    Obvious Clickbait: No   Unrelated Ads: Yes       SSL: Yes  Data not secured by SSL: No alert   Mouse-over leave site Ad: No  Automatic Firefox blocking enabled: Yes  Tested from: Canada, US
92  marklevinshow.com   http://marklevinshow.com                                   Browser push notifications: No     Obvious Clickbait: No   Unrelated Ads: No Ads    SSL: Yes  Data not secured by SSL: No alert   Mouse-over leave site Ad: No  Automatic Firefox blocking enabled: No   Tested from: Canada, US
93  michellemalkin.com  http://michellemalkin.com                                  Browser push notifications: No     Obvious Clickbait: No   Unrelated Ads: No Ads    SSL: Yes  Data not secured by SSL: No alert   Mouse-over leave site Ad: No  Automatic Firefox blocking enabled: No   Tested from: Canada, US
94  numbersusa.com  http://numbersusa.com                                          Browser push notifications: No     Obvious Clickbait: No   Unrelated Ads: No Ads    SSL: Yes  Data not secured by SSL: No alert   Mouse-over leave site Ad: No  Automatic Firefox blocking enabled: No   Tested from: Canada, US
95  canadafreepress.com http://canadafreepress.com                                 Browser push notifications: Yes    Obvious Clickbait: No   Unrelated Ads: Yes       SSL: Yes  Data not secured by SSL: No alert   Mouse-over leave site Ad: No  Automatic Firefox blocking enabled: Yes  Tested from: Canada, US
96  steynonline.com http://steynonline.com                                         Browser push notifications: Yes    Obvious Clickbait: No   Unrelated Ads: No        SSL: Yes  Data not secured by SSL: No alert   Mouse-over leave site Ad: No  Automatic Firefox blocking enabled: No   Tested from: Canada, US
97  humanevents.com http://humanevents.com                                         Browser push notifications: No     Obvious Clickbait: No   Unrelated Ads: Yes       SSL: Yes  Data not secured by SSL: No alert   Mouse-over leave site Ad: No  Automatic Firefox blocking enabled: No   Tested from: Canada, US
98  thetrumpet.com  http://thetrumpet.com                                          Browser push notifications: No     Obvious Clickbait: No   Unrelated Ads: No Ads    SSL: Yes  Data not secured by SSL: No alert   Mouse-over leave site Ad: No  Automatic Firefox blocking enabled: No   Tested from: Canada, US
99  algemeiner.com  http://algemeiner.com                                          Browser push notifications: No     Obvious Clickbait: No   Unrelated Ads: Yes       SSL: Yes  Data not secured by SSL: No alert   Mouse-over leave site Ad: No  Automatic Firefox blocking enabled: No   Tested from: Canada, US
100 ricochet.com    http://ricochet.com					           Browser push notifications: Yes    Obvious Clickbait: No   Unrelated Ads: Yes       SSL: Yes  Data not secured by SSL: Yes        Mouse-over leave site Ad: No  Automatic Firefox blocking enabled: No   Tested from: Canada, US

Will review other sites as time permits but so far from other posts and my testing we are not blocking sites based on any type of political bias. We are blocking some Ads or scripts but the pages open and function properly in my testing. All sites were tested without the Malwarebytes extension (not just disable, it was not installed), and with the extension installed.

 

 

Clickbait is content (especially a headline) that uses exaggeration and sensationalism to entice you into clicking on a link to a particular web page. Clickbait often leads to content of questionable value.

 

Clickbait

“Huge snake eats man alive!” Have I got your attention? What if I posted a link to a video of the ordeal? You just might be tempted to click, especially because many legitimate articles and other pieces of content use similarly eye-catching headlines to get people to look at their stuff. Cybercriminals get this, and they exploit it.

A particularly popular approach is to capitalize on the innately human desire to crane one’s neck to see an accident on the side of the road. So beware of links to overly graphic terrorist attack images, natural disasters, and other tragedies. They just may lead to malicious websites that can siphon off personal data or drop infections on machines via malvertising.


Tested using Firefox version 67.0.4 and Malwarebytes extension Version 1.0.44 on 7/7/2019 (fresh install of Firefox, no other extensions installed) on Windows 10 version 1803 x64

https://pastebin.com/j36B96Gy

 

Thank you

Ron

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