After a year and 10k happy users, addon page says "This is not a Recommended Extension."

Can anyone of the responsible mozilla staff here elaborate on why such a label is now suddenly being displayed on my addon page?

It’s scaring off my customers for no reason and harmful to our business.

The addon is one of the most privacy conscious malware and phishing protection available for Firefox and goes way beyond what the built-in phishing filter does in terms of making sure the user’s browsing habits can’t be tracked on server side.

The message has a link to a support page that expands on the reasons. The message is meant to inform users that your add-on isn’t being as closely monitored as others on the site, so users need to make up their own minds on its safety. The majority of add-ons on the site are in a similar situation, and not all are safe to use. We can’t make any guarantees, hence the message.

That info page isn’t really that useful at all, as it doesn’t provide any practical methods to get rid of that message. The process of reviewing addons seems to be completely random and unpredictable for developers. Mozilla judges about the state of my addon without actually analyzing what it does in detail. That’s quite a slap in face of any developer spending month of effort in building something that supports your product. Where’s the business ethics behind all that please?

I want to know: What do I have to do to get rid of that incorrect warning message?

You can nominate your add-on to be Recommended, but there’s no guarantee it will be accepted into the program. Unfortunately we don’t have the resources to guarantee the safety of all add-ons in the site.

I think the actual problem here is the wording. It really doesn’t take much to read it totally wrong in the sense that ‘This is a not-recommended extension.’. Which totally changes the meaning. If the site basically says that the extension isn’t recommended, users see it as an immediate threat warning and naturally not install it. Which is actively harming many vendor’s business.

Why not change the label to something along the lines of ‘This extension has not yet been reviewed to be in our list of top recommended extensions.’?

After all, that list of recommended ones is tiny (only around 100 extensions there which is a super small fraction of the total available extensions.

We are actually running some tests with updated wording. If all goes well we might have some updates on that soon enough.

Any updates?

I’ve taught my relatives to “pay attention to the warning messages with triangular icons” because it usually means something important. Now that everyone is on the computer because of isolation, putting the same message on virtually every extension just diminishes the meaning of “warning message with triangular icon”.

An updated version of the text is expected to go live tomorrow.