24 hours of comment spam: 6,607

Whew. Sorry if your comment gets deleted in all of this. Time wasted today alone? About 30 minutes going through more than 2,000 spams that needed to be moderated. Akismet has been so good for so long, hope that Matt and friends are busy working on making it better. I like some of the other suggestions, too (like adding a captcha here, although I personally would hate to see that happen).

21 thoughts on “24 hours of comment spam: 6,607

  1. @RBA, @Jonathon Sutherland – The problem with CAPTCHAs is one of accessibility – blind and partially sighted users will have problems posting comments. CAPTCHAs do have the place in certain situations but they’re not something to be implemented lightly.

    I run a blog based on custom code and it’s amazing how little spam I get compared to friends with blogs of similar sizes running WordPress or other popular blogging platforms.

    Changing the filename of the posting script or altering the default form field names could help (assuming one isn’t using the hosted version of WordPress).

    I’ve also noticed that adding a very simple challenge to your comments form like asking the user to enter your first name, even if the answer is contained in the page, has a dramatic effect in reducing spam. I guess spammers are lazy – they could parse the page for the answer but in most cases don’t seem to bother.

  2. @RBA, @Jonathon Sutherland – The problem with CAPTCHAs is one of accessibility – blind and partially sighted users will have problems posting comments. CAPTCHAs do have the place in certain situations but they’re not something to be implemented lightly.

    I run a blog based on custom code and it’s amazing how little spam I get compared to friends with blogs of similar sizes running WordPress or other popular blogging platforms.

    Changing the filename of the posting script or altering the default form field names could help (assuming one isn’t using the hosted version of WordPress).

    I’ve also noticed that adding a very simple challenge to your comments form like asking the user to enter your first name, even if the answer is contained in the page, has a dramatic effect in reducing spam. I guess spammers are lazy – they could parse the page for the answer but in most cases don’t seem to bother.

  3. I once found a little hack someone did to the Akismet plugin that grouped caught spam by domains (so any comment spam with a URL containing commentspam.com would be grouped together at the top of the page), with checkboxes next to each group so you could select/deselect. Then there was a Delete All button for all of the spam that were in those groups.

    When I was using that hack, I could eliminate at least 3/4ths of the Akismet comment spam with one click, knowing almost certainly that there is no legit stuff being caught. I could then look over the remaining spam that had unique URL’s.

    Unfortunately, I lost the URL to the hack and I by mistake deleted the modified akismet plugin when I upgraded my wordpress version a while back. Oops.

    I think Matt and the Akismet team should make this hack a pernament part of WordPress. It would make going through the comment spam a little easier.

  4. I once found a little hack someone did to the Akismet plugin that grouped caught spam by domains (so any comment spam with a URL containing commentspam.com would be grouped together at the top of the page), with checkboxes next to each group so you could select/deselect. Then there was a Delete All button for all of the spam that were in those groups.

    When I was using that hack, I could eliminate at least 3/4ths of the Akismet comment spam with one click, knowing almost certainly that there is no legit stuff being caught. I could then look over the remaining spam that had unique URL’s.

    Unfortunately, I lost the URL to the hack and I by mistake deleted the modified akismet plugin when I upgraded my wordpress version a while back. Oops.

    I think Matt and the Akismet team should make this hack a pernament part of WordPress. It would make going through the comment spam a little easier.

  5. Robert, if you’re spending THAT much time deleting spam on a regular basis, I would recommend the captcha (or the sum as suggested above.) Those of us who comment on your blog would not mind it at all. I doubt you’d notice any difference in the quality/quantity of *real* comments on your blog. WWTFD? (What would Timothy Ferriss do?) haha ;)

  6. Robert, if you’re spending THAT much time deleting spam on a regular basis, I would recommend the captcha (or the sum as suggested above.) Those of us who comment on your blog would not mind it at all. I doubt you’d notice any difference in the quality/quantity of *real* comments on your blog. WWTFD? (What would Timothy Ferriss do?) haha ;)

  7. Don’t know if wordpress has the equivalent but on movable type there are some excellent plugins that work in conjunction with Akismet. One of them detects actual keystrokes, another works like a spam firewall… using them in combination I’ve cut comment spam to nearly zero and have even been able to turn off moderation. woo hoo!

  8. Don’t know if wordpress has the equivalent but on movable type there are some excellent plugins that work in conjunction with Akismet. One of them detects actual keystrokes, another works like a spam firewall… using them in combination I’ve cut comment spam to nearly zero and have even been able to turn off moderation. woo hoo!

  9. Take an idea from Tim Ferris, 4 hour workweek and outsorce the spam work you are doing. A couple of hours training someone saves you hours every week going forward. Just a thought

  10. Take an idea from Tim Ferris, 4 hour workweek and outsorce the spam work you are doing. A couple of hours training someone saves you hours every week going forward. Just a thought

  11. Robert, captcha requires only a little extra effort from us but will save you days over a year. You could also add what Matt Cutts has – a simple sum which I’ve found to be very effective as well.

  12. Robert, captcha requires only a little extra effort from us but will save you days over a year. You could also add what Matt Cutts has – a simple sum which I’ve found to be very effective as well.

  13. Robert, I was a captcha hater myself for a very long time. I’ve never liked it and I still don’t, to tell you the truth, but what would I rather have? To know that a friend or a blogger I like is wasting so much time dealing with spam on a daily basis, or having to input the stupid 5-6 twisted characters every time I want to send a comment?

    I choose the second.

    If you ever decide to implement captcha, I’d suggest of course keeping Askimet as well, and also start with an easy to read captcha. Why? Because if you see that with a simple captcha you’re already not even seeing 95%+ of the spam you get today, why go for a captcha that even humans cannot understand?

  14. Robert, I was a captcha hater myself for a very long time. I’ve never liked it and I still don’t, to tell you the truth, but what would I rather have? To know that a friend or a blogger I like is wasting so much time dealing with spam on a daily basis, or having to input the stupid 5-6 twisted characters every time I want to send a comment?

    I choose the second.

    If you ever decide to implement captcha, I’d suggest of course keeping Askimet as well, and also start with an easy to read captcha. Why? Because if you see that with a simple captcha you’re already not even seeing 95%+ of the spam you get today, why go for a captcha that even humans cannot understand?

  15. Spam is integrate part of life. Just like Traffic on Road. The distance may be only of 1 miles but it takes 15 min to travel due to traffic. This is just like that.

  16. Spam is integrate part of life. Just like Traffic on Road. The distance may be only of 1 miles but it takes 15 min to travel due to traffic. This is just like that.

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