The downside of community spam deletion

Andy Beard has an interesting article about Akismet’s spam deletion service (I use it here — if I didn’t, you’d have thousands of pieces of spam get through to my comment area every day).

I have noticed that the numbers of false positives (comments of yours getting deleted) are going up. But I’ve been going through and adding those back in.

If you notice your comments are getting deleted here, please email me so I can see if they were deleted by the spam filter (I very rarely delete comments).

17 thoughts on “The downside of community spam deletion

  1. Neuromancer just think about what you are saying.

    Such comments that pass through Akismet but not your personal filters are in a seperate queue, not very many comments at all.

    I have had comments on Roberts blog here disappear that were definitely part of the discussion, and he wouldn’t dream of deleting.

    At the same time, I wouldn’t email Robert over one comment disappearing. His email list is full enough as it is. If the point was worthy of being made here, it is probably worth typing it out again, although then it will appear out of sequence thus it might well be different content.

    If Akismet is intelligent, based on the number of comments I have made in various places, it should be able to determine that my comments are normally not spam and just pass them.

    If you notice in the comments of the thread, Matt states that Akismet is binary – there is no variable possible spam bin. My comment if it doesn’t appear is mixed up with thousands of blue pills and marital aids.

    Mark Jaquith is developing tools to help people who have false positive problems, and he is a major contributor to WordPress, and still recognises that there is a problem.

    Other systems have a sliding scale, so comments that almost made the grade end up there.

    I had Brad Feld and the CEO of Lijit, Todd Vernon commenting on my review of Lijit a few days ago. Brad’s comment got through, Todds for some reason landed in my “possible” moderatin queue, not the nasty spam bin.
    That happens, I pulled it out a few minutes later, and end of the problem.

    I also have another line of defense, in that I get an email every 8 hours of the “least offenders” – these are comments that didn’t make it to the possible list, but might be worth looking at.

    Todd didn’t have to email me to recover the comment, it was recovered within minutes.

    I know why his comment didn’t get through – no javascript support and an IP not matching in an encrypted payload check.

    It should also be noted that one of the primary reasons for the post was to encourage people to be responsible.

    I haven’t been black flagged in any way by Akisment that I know of, otherwise I wouldn’t be posting here. It is however possible that that the comment in the past that I didn’t ask Robert to pull out of the sin bin has an effect on my ability to comment now, that my location in Poland is affecting my ability to comment, or that someone who didn’t like a critical comment flagged it as spam rather than delete.

    hmm a long comment, I wonder if this will get through

  2. Neuromancer just think about what you are saying.

    Such comments that pass through Akismet but not your personal filters are in a seperate queue, not very many comments at all.

    I have had comments on Roberts blog here disappear that were definitely part of the discussion, and he wouldn’t dream of deleting.

    At the same time, I wouldn’t email Robert over one comment disappearing. His email list is full enough as it is. If the point was worthy of being made here, it is probably worth typing it out again, although then it will appear out of sequence thus it might well be different content.

    If Akismet is intelligent, based on the number of comments I have made in various places, it should be able to determine that my comments are normally not spam and just pass them.

    If you notice in the comments of the thread, Matt states that Akismet is binary – there is no variable possible spam bin. My comment if it doesn’t appear is mixed up with thousands of blue pills and marital aids.

    Mark Jaquith is developing tools to help people who have false positive problems, and he is a major contributor to WordPress, and still recognises that there is a problem.

    Other systems have a sliding scale, so comments that almost made the grade end up there.

    I had Brad Feld and the CEO of Lijit, Todd Vernon commenting on my review of Lijit a few days ago. Brad’s comment got through, Todds for some reason landed in my “possible” moderatin queue, not the nasty spam bin.
    That happens, I pulled it out a few minutes later, and end of the problem.

    I also have another line of defense, in that I get an email every 8 hours of the “least offenders” – these are comments that didn’t make it to the possible list, but might be worth looking at.

    Todd didn’t have to email me to recover the comment, it was recovered within minutes.

    I know why his comment didn’t get through – no javascript support and an IP not matching in an encrypted payload check.

    It should also be noted that one of the primary reasons for the post was to encourage people to be responsible.

    I haven’t been black flagged in any way by Akisment that I know of, otherwise I wouldn’t be posting here. It is however possible that that the comment in the past that I didn’t ask Robert to pull out of the sin bin has an effect on my ability to comment now, that my location in Poland is affecting my ability to comment, or that someone who didn’t like a critical comment flagged it as spam rather than delete.

    hmm a long comment, I wonder if this will get through

  3. As a follow up I read the article in more depth.

    I suspect some of his comments geting put into the mod queue is due to the fact that wordpress (and I me assuming that other blog platforms are the same) has aditional filters as well as akisment.

    with Wp you can set up the number of links that trigger moderation as well as the common spamwords – so it may not be a problem with akismet but that some blogs are configued in a stricter way.

  4. As a follow up I read the article in more depth.

    I suspect some of his comments geting put into the mod queue is due to the fact that wordpress (and I me assuming that other blog platforms are the same) has aditional filters as well as akisment.

    with Wp you can set up the number of links that trigger moderation as well as the common spamwords – so it may not be a problem with akismet but that some blogs are configued in a stricter way.

  5. Ryan one point of those spam comments is to get you to validate one comment as correct. Lots of spam systems give a bonus if a user has posted a recent comment.

  6. Ryan one point of those spam comments is to get you to validate one comment as correct. Lots of spam systems give a bonus if a user has posted a recent comment.

  7. Hi Robert

    Thanks for the mention – in another discussion a few months ago on this blog that was quite heated I actually had one comment not show up – when I saw it not show up I just mentioned the most important point in a followup comment – I just assumed it had been eaten because you never delete comments.

    My post isn’t meant to be specifically critical of the service, and to suggest things people might be able to do to help it.

  8. Hi Robert

    Thanks for the mention – in another discussion a few months ago on this blog that was quite heated I actually had one comment not show up – when I saw it not show up I just mentioned the most important point in a followup comment – I just assumed it had been eaten because you never delete comments.

    My post isn’t meant to be specifically critical of the service, and to suggest things people might be able to do to help it.

  9. I’ve noticed that too. In fact, my every comment my friend Doom (his last name) posts gets deleted from my blog. EVERY one. No matter what he says.

    For the amount of actual spam it catches, it’s still worth it. I just have to remember to check it every day.

    BTW, are you getting tons of comments saying “check out my homepage” that just link to Google? I’m getting 7-10 / day. What’s the point of those?

  10. I’ve noticed that too. In fact, my every comment my friend Doom (his last name) posts gets deleted from my blog. EVERY one. No matter what he says.

    For the amount of actual spam it catches, it’s still worth it. I just have to remember to check it every day.

    BTW, are you getting tons of comments saying “check out my homepage” that just link to Google? I’m getting 7-10 / day. What’s the point of those?

Comments are closed.