List non-recommended tools and why

Sometimes I’ll see a tool mentioned online as ‘private/privacy-friendly’, so I’ll go to Privacy Guides to see what you say about it. But it won’t be listed. That makes me wonder:

  • Is this new and you haven’t reviewed it yet?
  • Is there currently a discussion happening around a possible recommendation for this tool?
  • Was it recommended before, but has since been removed?
  • If it’s not recommended, why not? What’s wrong with it?

Case in point: Startmail. I saw this mentioned today on social media, but can’t see any reference to it on
After some digging, I discovered that it was recommended, but has since been removed: Remove Startmail, as it's not zero-knowledge by dngray · Pull Request #2166 · privacyguides/ · GitHub

So I’d like to suggest that you start to list non-recommended tools on your website (under the appropriate sections), with links to the issues, PRs and/or forum topics where it was decided that they’re not recommended.

This would help users in the following ways:

  • See that you’ve at least considered a specific tool they’re interested in
  • Understand why a tool wasn’t recommended
  • Understand why a previously-recommended tool was removed
  • Find the appropriate discussion where they can weigh-in (if it’s still ongoing)

There is the potential to confuse users by listed non-recommended tools on the recommendation pages, but I think this can be avoided with an appropriately-themed warning message saying that these tools aren’t recommended, and then only listing each tool’s name and link to the issue, PR, etc. (i.e. don’t mention the reasons on the site itself, to avoid giving more space to this section than necessary).

You can check the very forum you’re posting on to see if any community members have posted about it.

Same answer as above

This is a duplicate of:

the list [of non-recommended tools] would be huge and unmaintainable

From the same linked thread,

People who are really invested [like yourself, @NormPlum ] can find the reasoning on GitHub and fora.

1 Like

If you look at previous versions on archive, it was like that. Can understand both sides.

This won’t be happening as it would needlessly clutter the website. We also aren’t interested in writing content for all the bad products out there (which there’s a lot).

The purpose of a criteria is to assess what we are looking for in a product which we would even consider reviewing let alone recommending.