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Akismet

I didn’t get much comment spam the first year or so that the main Contra instance was on WordPress. (The LiveJournal instance is a mirror.) I moderate all comments from new commenters, and now that the daily comment spam rate has crept from three or four up past thirty or forty, I figured it was time to do something.

So yesterday morning I installed Akismet, a server-side comment-spam detection plug-in for WordPress that applies a Bayesian signature scheme to incoming comments, and bins the ones it considers spam. Installing it was effortless, and for personal blogs like mine it’s free. (For commercial entities the Akismet service is $60/year.) So far, in about thirty hours it’s identified 80 spammy comments, which remain in the bin so you can scan for false positives if you want. Everything Akismet has fingered so far has proven to be spam. However, I’ve gotten no genuine comments on my WordPress instance since installing it. If you posted (or tried and failed to post) a comment on my WordPress instance today or yesterday, let me know. If nothing is in fact interfering with legitimate comments, this thing is a godsend, and if I sound a little nervous, it’s only that it feels maybe a little too good to be true!

[UPDATE 12/10:] Well, four comments successfully posted, and nothing spammed that shouldn’t be (or not spammed that should have been) suggests that Akismet is a win and I should stop worrying.

10 Comments

  1. Darrin Chandler says:

    A friend uses something similar and it works very well for him, so I hope this is working for you.

  2. Jeff: I use Akismet for my blog and it works just fine. Sometimes there’s a false positive and I have to release it, but I’ve never seen a spam comment get through to the site itself.

    Cheers, Julian

  3. I can think of a few topics to comment about that would almost definitely generate a false positive, but they would be neither appropriate nor a fair test. 🙂

    -JRS

  4. Jim Mischel says:

    I’ve been using Akismet for a couple of years. I can recall only one false positive in all that time, and I’ve never had a spammy comment get through.

  5. Erbo says:

    WordPress.com uses Akismet spam detection for comments on blogs hosted there (which include both Evans Avenue Exit and the Ralpha Dogs’ corporate blog). I don’t recall getting any false positives for spam on comments there; at most, it might kick a comment into the “moderate this” queue, but I get a notification when that happens so I can give it a manual yea or nay.

  6. KD says:

    It appears that this post did not get mirrored to the LiveJournal instance. It doesn’t matter to me one way or the other. I just wanted to point it out in case you did not realize it.

    1. I deliberately didn’t post it there. I don’t want to confuse my LiveJournal readers, most of whom don’t read my main site here. (Akismet won’t help them with LJ comment spam, which is rare but does exist.) That said, some may (like me) have other blogs somewhere else, so it just might be useful to a few of them. I may post it there later today.

  7. Rich Rostrom says:

    Akismet
    Dec 9th, 2010 by Jeff Duntemann.
    I didn’t get much comment spam the first year or so that the main Contra instance was on WordPress. (The LiveJournal instance is a mirror.) I moderate all comments from new commenters, and now that the daily comment spam rate has crept from three or four up past thirty or forty, I figured it was time to do something.

    So yesterday morning I installed Akismet, a server-side comment-spam detection plug-in for WordPress that applies a Bayesian signature scheme to incoming comments, and bins the ones it considers spam. Installing it was effortless, and for personal blogs like mine it’s free. (For commercial entities the Akismet service is $60/year.) So far, in about thirty hours it’s identified 80 spammy comments, which remain in the bin so you can scan for false positives if you want. Everything Akismet has fingered so far has proven to be spam. However, I’ve gotten no genuine comments on my WordPress instance since installing it. If you posted (or tried and failed to post) a comment on my WordPress instance today or yesterday, let me know. If nothing is in fact interfering with legitimate comments, this thing is a godsend, and if I sound a little nervous, it’s only that it feels maybe a little too good to be true!

    [UPDATE 12/10:] Well, four comments successfully posted, and nothing spammed that shouldn’t be (or not spammed that should have been) suggests that Akismet is a win and I should stop worrying.

    Posted in: Daybook.
    Tagged: software · spam

    ← Odd Lots
    8 Comments

    Darrin Chandler
    December 9, 2010 at 9:31 pm
    A friend uses something similar and it works very well for him, so I hope this is working for you.

    Reply
    Julian M Bucknall
    December 9, 2010 at 10:24 pm
    Jeff: I use Akismet for my blog and it works just fine. Sometimes there’s a false positive and I have to release it, but I’ve never seen a spam comment get through to the site itself.

    Cheers, Julian

    Reply
    Jim Strickland
    December 9, 2010 at 11:46 pm
    I can think of a few topics to comment about that would almost definitely generate a false positive, but they would be neither appropriate nor a fair test.

    -JRS

    Reply
    Jim Mischel
    December 10, 2010 at 8:55 am
    I’ve been using Akismet for a couple of years. I can recall only one false positive in all that time, and I’ve never had a spammy comment get through.

    Reply
    Erbo
    December 10, 2010 at 10:27 am
    Wordpress.com uses Akismet spam detection for comments on blogs hosted there (which include both Evans Avenue Exit and the Ralpha Dogs’ corporate blog). I don’t recall getting any false positives for spam on comments there; at most, it might kick a comment into the “moderate this” queue, but I get a notification when that happens so I can give it a manual yea or nay.

    Reply
    KD
    December 10, 2010 at 2:39 pm
    It appears that this post did not get mirrored to the LiveJournal instance. It doesn’t matter to me one way or the other. I just wanted to point it out in case you did not realize it.

    Reply
    Jeff Duntemann
    December 10, 2010 at 3:10 pm
    I deliberately didn’t post it there. I don’t want to confuse my LiveJournal readers, most of whom don’t read my main site here. (Akismet won’t help them with LJ comment spam, which is rare but does exist.) That said, some may (like me) have other blogs somewhere else, so it just might be useful to a few of them. I may post it there later today.

    Reply
    Rich Rostrom
    December 10, 2010 at 8:21 pm
    (trying again with tag closed)

    Let’s stress test this puppy: questionable language, an embedded URL.

    Would you like some spotted dick?

    Enter this Dead Pool, and if your candidate is the first to assume room temperature, you get dick!

    There’s no closing date, and as long as your entry was still alive when you submitted him, you’re in. The proprietress, Ms. S. Weasel, reserves the right to reject any entries she hasn’t heard of.

  8. Rich Rostrom says:

    (trying again with tag closed and without copying the whole page)

    Let’s stress test this puppy: questionable language, an embedded URL.

    Would you like some spotted dick?

    Enter this Dead Pool, and if your candidate is the first to assume room temperature, you get dick!

    There’s no closing date, and as long as your entry was still alive when you submitted him, you’re in. The proprietress, Ms. S. Weasel, reserves the right to reject any entries she hasn’t heard of.

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