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Akismet Auntie Spam Firefox-Greasemonkey Page Viewing Script

My buddy, Engtech has come up with a neat Firefox Greasemonkey script which “shrinks” your screen view of Akismet’s comment spam page viewing.

Akismet Comment Spam Panel ListThe Akismet Auntie Spam Greasemonkey Script for Firefox changes the way the comment spam caught by Akismet is viewed. Instead of viewing the whole comment spam, and scrolling down screen after screen to get to the bottom of your 50 comment spams, then scrolling back up to the top of the page to hit the next page (Will they ever put the page navigation at the bottom? Hint! Hint!), Akismet Auntie Spam shrinks the space down and only gives you excerpts of the comment spams, cutting down your screen scrolling.

It doesn’t put more comment spam on per page, it just saves your hand with less mouse wheel gestures, page down presses, or scroll bar clicks.

The title information of the comment spam, with the name, email, URL, and IP are clearly marked with a yellow highlighted background and only the first sentence or so viewable underneath. The spacing is all gone, squishing the comment spams together, which saves the page down efforts.

Akismet Auntie Spam Page View Greasemonkey Firefox Script

It’s ugly and takes a little getting used to, with so little space in between, but it took me only a few minutes to quickly slide my eye down the list to check for any wrongfully grabbed comments, which there were none. It also loads after the page has loaded, so it takes a moment to show up and slightly slows the page loading, but it’s minor.

I’ve had some comment spam that took four screen’s worth of page downs to get through just one long comment spam of worthless links and text, so this is a neat way of shrinking the information and wasted space to save your fingers and wrists while you scan for false/positives in Akismet.

This shrinking technique works on Akismet panels only on blogs, though I hope there is some way Engtech can make this available to all WordPress blogs. It does require Mozilla Firefox browser and the Greasemonkey Firefox Extension, though Engtech does describe how to add this with Internet Explorer.

Akismet Auntie Spam Greasemonkey Script for Firefox is a step in the right direction for handling comment spam for several reasons. Yes, it requires less hand motion to scroll through the comment spam list, but more importantly, I don’t have to read the whole comment spam.

Before my comment spam levels went totally berserker, I carefully scrolled through all the comment spams to check for false/positives. Your comments are important to me, and if I can get your good comments out of the Akismet list, then I’m doing a good thing for you and for me.

Unfortunately, reading through all those comment spams was a little like being sexually harassed and assaulted. After all, how many porn and sex terms and suggestions can you take? I was reading through hundreds a day with invitations to view enlarged penises and breasts, animal sex, black sex, latino sex, teenager sex, couple sex, violent sex, group sex, golden showers sex, gay sex, and every other sex around and in between, some I’d hardly ever heard of. That’s a lot of sex to be confronted with on a daily basis. Add to this the drugs, mortgages, casinos, and just plain stupidity. How fun it must be to put “aaassssdddfffggg” in comments.

As open minded and uninhibited as I’d like to think I am, all this crap going in my eyes and brain is wearing on the spirit. Sometimes I’d find myself laughing over some stupid description like “quit smoking while female”, and then realize that this is sick stuff I’m laughing at. I’d become desensitized to how disgusting this garbage is.

Akismet Auntie Spam Greasemonkey Script for Firefox allows me to only see the first few words to know that it’s not a good comment, limited my brain’s exposure to all the evils comment spammers promote. I like that.

The script is still new and I’d like to see it become a little easier to quickly scan and read, but it is a great step in the right direction. Thanks, Engtech!

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network

Member of the 9Rules Blogging Network

18 Comments

  1. Posted January 9, 2007 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    very nice :D

    and hilarious that you took the time to blur the spam names where they were offensive.

  2. Posted January 9, 2007 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    I’ll throw up a WordPress self-install and see if I can get it working with that as well.

  3. Posted January 9, 2007 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    adam, blurring is a good call and it is too bad Lorelle you did not blur the email addresses because they could be anyone’s address. Spammers abuse everyone and there are also vigilantes.

  4. Posted January 9, 2007 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    I fixed the slow down problem.

    You guys can read the email addresses on those screenshots? I must have my resolution too high. :)

  5. Posted January 9, 2007 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    Yikes, I did this fast and I thought I got all the emails and such. Thanks for catching that for me.

  6. Posted January 10, 2007 at 3:59 am | Permalink

    Over the past week I’ve started to simply hit “Delete All” because there’s too much of it to scan through. Akismet does a great job, there might be one or two false positives but given the scale of the problem I’m willing to live with deleting them by accident to save myself some time.

  7. Posted January 10, 2007 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Auntie Spam and Uncle Phish?

    Nice script though, some of those comment spams are soooooooooo long.

  8. Posted January 10, 2007 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Hey, I tested the script with a wordpress self-hosted install and it works fine.

    Just need to change the “Includes Pages” for the script to: http*://*/edit-comments.php?page=akismet-admi*

    Or download and reinstall (I updated to work for any wordpress install instead).

  9. Posted January 10, 2007 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    I’m curious, have you ever extracted a good comment from the spam bucket? WIth nearly 10,000 spam caught on my blog, I haven’t found one!

  10. Posted January 10, 2007 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Yes. Many times, but when I look at the overall numbers, it is actually very few comparatively, considering this blog is now past 185,000 comments spams in, what, less than a year? In the beginning, many were caught, but over time, fewer and fewer. Now, I believe it is only occassionally, but I get 500-3000 a day.

    Still, remember, the number of comment spams is not indicative of a blog’s popularity. Comment spam number increase when the number of more popular sites link to yours. I’ve tested this out on several new sites and didn’t get comment spam until the first incoming links. On one blog, it was several months comment spam free, until I linked from here the first time. Two days later, I had 10 comment spams.

    Comment spam bots follow outgoing links to their next victim. They feed on the interconnectedness of the web, the sickos.

  11. Posted January 10, 2007 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    OK, I finally got why it’s called awnty spam (and the uncle phish remark just got funnier)

  12. Posted January 12, 2007 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Thanks for your response Lorelle.

    To solve your problem of no “next” at the bottom of the spam, can I recommend the Link Widgets plugin. That allows you to put next and prev buttons on a toolbar which works on many pages including the WP spam page.

  13. Posted January 12, 2007 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    One new comment format is to have no links in the comment body, and to leave a nice sounding message there. Also, they include the link in WP’s URL field. But Askimet catches those too, fortunately,

    I agree that the plugins lack of pagination is a but annoying, but in your Things I Want Gone from the Web in 2007 article, you say that pagination should be banned.

  14. Posted January 12, 2007 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Paging for Akismet is helpful when viewing 28 pages of comment spam, but that’s an internal administration panel function, no different from Manage Posts and such. For handling “data”, paging is fine.

    For web page articles, paging sucks. If you need more than one page for your article, then break it up in an article series and make sure each one is complete but related to the others.

    Page breaks are also some left over issue with “screen views” when people believed that no one ever looked beyond the first screen full of content. Well, they do, so this is old tech.

  15. Posted January 15, 2007 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    *not related*

    Hi Lorelle — I thought you might be interested in this wordpress.com announcement.

    MyBlogLog is a widget that shows you who has been reading your blog (if they have MyBlogLog accounts). It’s a great way for bloggers to connect with other bloggers.

    There is a workaround for using the MyBlogLog web widget on WordPress.com blogs (you can cut-and-paste code into a text sidebar widget and get it working with requiring javascript).

    More info on how to get it working here:

    http://engtech.wordpress.com/2007/01/15/mybloglog-widget-for-wordpresscom-blogs-one-of-the-best-web-widgets-available/

    See it in operation on my sidebar:

    http://engtech.wordpress.com

  16. Posted January 30, 2007 at 2:36 am | Permalink

    Visitors cannot comment on my site if I enable Akismet, since upgrading from 2.0.6 to 2.0.7 (not taken the 2.1 plunge yet, dozens of plugins and a homemade theme to worry about).

    Any clues as to why they get a blank screen, but with Akismet disabled things are fine?

    db

  17. Posted January 30, 2007 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    You’ll have to ask them or on the WordPress Support Forum. Blank screens and such usually come because you uploaded files over the top of old ones instead of deleting them and uploading new. Also turn off your other WordPress Plugins to see if one is interfering with Akismet. Give that a try and then hit the Akismet site and/or the WordPress Support Forums for more answers.

  18. Posted February 6, 2007 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    I reckon you’re probably right with the overwrite issue. I did the quick upgrade (WP recommended) from 6 t 7. When I finally get around to going to 2.1 I’ll do the full backup-delete-upload-upgrade cycle

    db


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