I’ve lost control of my comments…

You don’t see it, but some of my comments are getting deleted by Akismet, the spam blocker that WordPress.com uses. Osman S Borutecene says he’s noticed comments being deleted here seemingly randomly. Truth is commenting in blogging is broken and is getting worse. In just the past 24 hours I’ve manually had to delete about 1,000 spams and in my already blocked page in WordPress.com there are about 10,000 spams. I have absolutely no way to go through and look for false positives, or real comments you’ve left that have been deleted automatically cause they triggered the spam system.

I do notice some trends, though. If you don’t use your full real name (two words like “Robert Scoble”) you’ll get deleted more often. Most spammers use one word names, or three word names. Also, if your post has URLs in it, you’ll be more likely to get deleted.

If you notice your comment gets deleted if you can give me the approximate time you posted it I can usually dig it out of the deleted bucket. Sorry for the troubles, but the comment spam problem is getting dramatically worse. You don’t see it because I also moderate comments from first-time commenters (they wait on a page for my approval, which can take up to a day to get approved, but usually are approved in an hour or two — that’s why spam isn’t getting onto my blog, but I sure see it).

If I ever end up closing my comments this will be why. It’s unbearable at 1,000 spams a day. I can’t imagine how life will be if the spammers start writing more human-like comments and/or if they start moving up to 10,000 or 100,000 per day (Akismet blocks millions of messages across all the blogs every day).

Akismet is both looking at patterns of messages, as well as using the community to block spam. So, if a blogger marks something as spam that really isn’t it’ll get deleted system wide until enough bloggers mark it as not spam. Funny enough my own comments were getting deleted last week too. So it happens to me too!

100 thoughts on “I’ve lost control of my comments…

  1. I have found two interesting sources and would like to give the benefit of my experience to you.
    I am tuning my pc by the best software for free, with the file search engine http://fileshunt. com and http://filesfinds.com . May be you have your own experience and could give some useful sites too. Because this two social sites help me much.

  2. I have found two interesting sources and would like to give the benefit of my experience to you.
    I am tuning my pc by the best software for free, with the file search engine http://fileshunt. com and http://filesfinds.com . May be you have your own experience and could give some useful sites too. Because this two social sites help me much.

  3. I know at least one commenter has suggested Spam Karma. With a twist, I make the same suggestion:

    There is an Akismet plugin for Spam Karma. This is different than running the two WordPress plugins at the same time: this makes Akismet work _within_ Spam Karma as one of its many tests.

    I use it, along with Bad Behavior, and it’s surprising rare that I actually get spam comments. Briefly put, it works very, very well.

  4. I know at least one commenter has suggested Spam Karma. With a twist, I make the same suggestion:

    There is an Akismet plugin for Spam Karma. This is different than running the two WordPress plugins at the same time: this makes Akismet work _within_ Spam Karma as one of its many tests.

    I use it, along with Bad Behavior, and it’s surprising rare that I actually get spam comments. Briefly put, it works very, very well.

  5. Fixing this is on my short list of things to do for WordPress 2.3 And as things tend to flow from WordPress trunk to WordPress MU trunk to WordPress.com fairly quickly, hopefully WP.com users can benefit too.

    I haven’t worked out all the details, but the half-baked plan would already greatly speed up comment administration, which will make Akismet’s bad days (or theoretical demise) easier to handle.

  6. Fixing this is on my short list of things to do for WordPress 2.3 And as things tend to flow from WordPress trunk to WordPress MU trunk to WordPress.com fairly quickly, hopefully WP.com users can benefit too.

    I haven’t worked out all the details, but the half-baked plan would already greatly speed up comment administration, which will make Akismet’s bad days (or theoretical demise) easier to handle.

  7. I have had to stop using my primary online “handle” because it was getting my comments deleted at an increasing number of blogs. Changing it is hardly onerous, but it’s kind of annoying that I had to do so just because of spam.

    If anyone’s curious what it was, I’ll spell it out and hope that it doesn’t get this comment tossed:

    f-i-a-t l-u-x

    My assumption is that the first word is not just Latin, but also a brand name, and thus gets flagged.

    Annoying.

  8. I have had to stop using my primary online “handle” because it was getting my comments deleted at an increasing number of blogs. Changing it is hardly onerous, but it’s kind of annoying that I had to do so just because of spam.

    If anyone’s curious what it was, I’ll spell it out and hope that it doesn’t get this comment tossed:

    f-i-a-t l-u-x

    My assumption is that the first word is not just Latin, but also a brand name, and thus gets flagged.

    Annoying.

  9. On the WordPress server software I can install the Comment Policy plugin. After installing that the blog spam dropped way low. Really only manual spam got through.

  10. On the WordPress server software I can install the Comment Policy plugin. After installing that the blog spam dropped way low. Really only manual spam got through.

  11. Sorry if I sound jaded, but with these kind of issues like with the whole Kathy Sierra thing, I just find it extremely annoying leading bloggers seem to think they are the first that have to deal with these kind of issues.

    Spam and misbehaving anti-spam filters and bots are stuff we’ve had to deal with for over a decade now on various internet-platforms.

    No “commenting in blogging is broken”. More like, move along, nothing to see…

  12. Sorry if I sound jaded, but with these kind of issues like with the whole Kathy Sierra thing, I just find it extremely annoying leading bloggers seem to think they are the first that have to deal with these kind of issues.

    Spam and misbehaving anti-spam filters and bots are stuff we’ve had to deal with for over a decade now on various internet-platforms.

    No “commenting in blogging is broken”. More like, move along, nothing to see…

  13. I had one day of over 1000 spam comments (almost all pharmacy spam) and after I deleted all of those in less than an hour I had about 50 more. That was exceptional; it must have been some major spam attack. It does seem to come in big waves like that. Usually I get about 100 a week. Since I started, Akismet caught 12,336 spams.

  14. I had one day of over 1000 spam comments (almost all pharmacy spam) and after I deleted all of those in less than an hour I had about 50 more. That was exceptional; it must have been some major spam attack. It does seem to come in big waves like that. Usually I get about 100 a week. Since I started, Akismet caught 12,336 spams.

  15. Spam comment and spam trackbacks is the #1 reason I switched to Drupal.

    Neither MovableType nor WordPress can deal with the spamm attacks my blogs suffer everyday –at about 5K a day combined and in a slow day.

    Just culturekitchen alone has come under attack with 1K spam comments and trackbacks an hour. Back in 2005, the last attack cost me over 1K in overage bandwidth and I ended up with over 25K spamments to delete –and that’s on my high traffic blog, not on any slow posting, abandoned site.

    I have been battling this now since 2005 and only see it getting worse with now the emergence of spamming cartels in China and Brasil. And yes, they are like the frigging mafia. Russian spammers are the worse.

  16. Spam comment and spam trackbacks is the #1 reason I switched to Drupal.

    Neither MovableType nor WordPress can deal with the spamm attacks my blogs suffer everyday –at about 5K a day combined and in a slow day.

    Just culturekitchen alone has come under attack with 1K spam comments and trackbacks an hour. Back in 2005, the last attack cost me over 1K in overage bandwidth and I ended up with over 25K spamments to delete –and that’s on my high traffic blog, not on any slow posting, abandoned site.

    I have been battling this now since 2005 and only see it getting worse with now the emergence of spamming cartels in China and Brasil. And yes, they are like the frigging mafia. Russian spammers are the worse.

  17. The story I am getting here really made me crazy. I have just started to write a blog about lives of people from Bangladesh, and I m now really thinking what will I do if I fall in a problem like yours! Canvas of life – The lives of real people

  18. The story I am getting here really made me crazy. I have just started to write a blog about lives of people from Bangladesh, and I m now really thinking what will I do if I fall in a problem like yours! Canvas of life – The lives of real people

  19. I think the best solution is to make the web a lot less anonymous. Their needs to be a clear way to identify who is doing what. I know I know about privacy and all those concerns. If the internet was the real world, then spammers would be like people putting up thousands of signs in Wall mart every day telling people to buy things in a back ally somewhere. Wall mart simply would have the people thrown out or arrested, but becuase we can’t track these people down effectively we have NO recourse.

  20. I think the best solution is to make the web a lot less anonymous. Their needs to be a clear way to identify who is doing what. I know I know about privacy and all those concerns. If the internet was the real world, then spammers would be like people putting up thousands of signs in Wall mart every day telling people to buy things in a back ally somewhere. Wall mart simply would have the people thrown out or arrested, but becuase we can’t track these people down effectively we have NO recourse.

  21. Just in the past week I’ve noticed a huge jump in comment spam to my low-traffic blog. I used to get a few per day. Now it’s 60-70 spam comments per day. I can’t imagine how you deal with 1,000 per day.

  22. Just in the past week I’ve noticed a huge jump in comment spam to my low-traffic blog. I used to get a few per day. Now it’s 60-70 spam comments per day. I can’t imagine how you deal with 1,000 per day.

  23. Robert, dude..if you delete all those comments how are you ever going to find out where to get your viagra and male enhancement products?

  24. Robert, dude..if you delete all those comments how are you ever going to find out where to get your viagra and male enhancement products?

  25. Robert,

    Probably you should close the comments and use a forum software for any discussion. This way, you can avoid those spams and people can still post their opinions inside the forum. Just my 2 cents.

  26. Robert,

    Probably you should close the comments and use a forum software for any discussion. This way, you can avoid those spams and people can still post their opinions inside the forum. Just my 2 cents.

  27. I like the idea of CAPTCHAs, but all the implementations out there looked really easy to break. I saw this site while browsing around though:

    http://recaptcha.net/plugins/wordpress/

    It’s a really interesting type of CAPTCHA that uses words from books rather than generating the CAPTCHAs. In the end, the CAPTCHA can be used to read (do OCR) on the book!

  28. I like the idea of CAPTCHAs, but all the implementations out there looked really easy to break. I saw this site while browsing around though:

    http://recaptcha.net/plugins/wordpress/

    It’s a really interesting type of CAPTCHA that uses words from books rather than generating the CAPTCHAs. In the end, the CAPTCHA can be used to read (do OCR) on the book!

  29. One easy way to kill almost all automatic SPAM is to use Ajax with a custom protocol for posting the comment. Most SPAMmers take advantage of the standard HTML posting routines which are supported universally. Once one requires Ajax (JavaScript) and a custom protocol, SPAMmers would need to go out of their ways and use slower tools like real browsers or other JavaScript emulators to try to fake their postings, and not only that, as they would need to understand the protocol and adapt their tools to your unique protocol convention.

    Basically, one day of programming for someone experienced with WordPress to add such a thing. It’s really tiresome to allow for SPAMmers to fill the comments, even with anti-SPAM checks in place like bayesian filtering.

    As most Web programming out there requires JavaScript, it should be pretty standard anyway, despite going against some of the sacred Web standards out there, though. :-)

    Just a tip!

  30. One easy way to kill almost all automatic SPAM is to use Ajax with a custom protocol for posting the comment. Most SPAMmers take advantage of the standard HTML posting routines which are supported universally. Once one requires Ajax (JavaScript) and a custom protocol, SPAMmers would need to go out of their ways and use slower tools like real browsers or other JavaScript emulators to try to fake their postings, and not only that, as they would need to understand the protocol and adapt their tools to your unique protocol convention.

    Basically, one day of programming for someone experienced with WordPress to add such a thing. It’s really tiresome to allow for SPAMmers to fill the comments, even with anti-SPAM checks in place like bayesian filtering.

    As most Web programming out there requires JavaScript, it should be pretty standard anyway, despite going against some of the sacred Web standards out there, though. :-)

    Just a tip!

  31. On my personal blog, I use a plugin that closes comments after 3 weeks plus a captcha program that asks you to add 2 numbers together. I get very little spam – if it does get through it’s usually caught by Akismet. On the other blog, which has no captcha, I get lots of spam – almost all Akismet caught but I still have to go with it. Installing a captcha is definitely the next step

  32. On my personal blog, I use a plugin that closes comments after 3 weeks plus a captcha program that asks you to add 2 numbers together. I get very little spam – if it does get through it’s usually caught by Akismet. On the other blog, which has no captcha, I get lots of spam – almost all Akismet caught but I still have to go with it. Installing a captcha is definitely the next step

  33. I Feel your pain, man

    I once tried to put a follow on comment on your blog within a few minutes of the first and it deleted that…may be another pattern?

    On spammers. I have heard most of the spam in the US originates in a FL town and the local authorities know about it and will not do anything about it. Not sure how true but its amazing Interpol, FBI cannot do much about the crisis it has become…

  34. I Feel your pain, man

    I once tried to put a follow on comment on your blog within a few minutes of the first and it deleted that…may be another pattern?

    On spammers. I have heard most of the spam in the US originates in a FL town and the local authorities know about it and will not do anything about it. Not sure how true but its amazing Interpol, FBI cannot do much about the crisis it has become…

  35. Robert, I’m using WP, but doing the hosting myself. One way I solved for the tons of spam was to rename my comments.php to something else. The spammers look for comments.php and trackback.php on the million+ WP sites…let them go for the big kill…while I was getting nowhere near the kind of spam you get (nor the traffic), I was seeing days of 2,500 pieces of junk. So, I renamed by two files and implemented a capcha, and voila! No more spam. Immediately. I wonder if that might work on your WP-hosted site. Seems nuts that your are being bombarded and can’t keep up with it…WP should help.

  36. Robert, I’m using WP, but doing the hosting myself. One way I solved for the tons of spam was to rename my comments.php to something else. The spammers look for comments.php and trackback.php on the million+ WP sites…let them go for the big kill…while I was getting nowhere near the kind of spam you get (nor the traffic), I was seeing days of 2,500 pieces of junk. So, I renamed by two files and implemented a capcha, and voila! No more spam. Immediately. I wonder if that might work on your WP-hosted site. Seems nuts that your are being bombarded and can’t keep up with it…WP should help.

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