Skip navigation

Checking WordPress for Comment Spam That Slips By You

A six month old post got a comment yesterday. Responding to the comment, I noticed a comment spam above it with obscene language in it. Specifically, a request for fetish sex.

I was so embarrassed that this person had left a comment and saw that as the last comment. I’m so fussy about monitoring for comment spam, how did that slip through?

I checked the date and realized that this comment came during a time when I had dozens of comments on a suddenly popular post, and I was both sick and traveling. The time between logging meant a lot of comments and comment spam to sift through, thus, I must have missed this one.

It was time to do a little checking to see what other comment spam might have slipped through.

How to Check For Comment Spam That Slips Past

WordPress Comments Panel search featureOn WordPress, your Comments panel has a search feature. Luckily, comment spammers tend to use the same words over and over again, so it was easy to do a little comment spam housekeeping by typing in those words. A few of these include:

  • Cool!
  • like your site
  • sex
  • f*ck
  • black
  • golden
  • guestbook
  • booty
  • Nice!
  • p0rn (with a zero/zed)
  • thank you (yeah, it will turn up tons, but some of those might be spam)
  • movie
  • adult
  • tv
  • free
  • cams
  • naked
  • private
  • pharmacy
  • thanks
  • drug

Other than “thanks” and “nice”, what are the odds that most of these words will be commonly found in your comments? Not likely.

By typing these words and phrases into my comments search, I found that 26 comment spams had slipped through. Not bad for about 1500 blog posts in two years and thousands of comments!

Every few months take a few moments and search through your Comments panel to find out if any of these nasties have managed to slip by. It will save you from embarrassing yourself with your commenters by keeping a clean house.

Related Articles

Member of the 9Rules Blogging Network


Site Search Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Feed on Lorelle on WordPress Subscribe Feedburner iconVia Feedburner Subscribe by Email

Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.

13 Comments

  1. Posted September 14, 2007 at 4:40 am | Permalink

    Cool! I like your site…. hehe just kiddin’ :)

    seriosly, your tips are very useful. “Protecting your WP Blog” has opened my eyes. U have a new regular.

    I think you have to be careful with comments, sometimes it’s feedback and sometimes spam. I’ve you write feedback, make sure the Author knows your no spammer :)

  2. Posted September 14, 2007 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Well, either what you’ve suggested or become a check your comments whore. Sadly, that’s what I’ve become. And I expect it to get worse since I added the ‘Recent Comments’ plugin.

  3. Posted September 14, 2007 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    There is another one, “sorry” followed by a sad emoticon. I wonder who came up with this stupid idea.

  4. Posted September 14, 2007 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Moshin hit a popular one. Also, “I have to do this” in some form shows up a lot.
    I can’t complain too much. Comment spam has been almost nonexistent for the past few months. Early in the year I was getting hundreds a day. A combination of Akismet and Spam Karma 2 has caught just about everything. It can be hard to tell when comments are in a language I cannot read.
    Of course, I do not have the traffic you have here Lorelle.

  5. Posted September 14, 2007 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Yikes! I forgot the sorry :(

    I hate that one. Can’t believe I forgot that one!

    Remember, traffic does not dictate comment spam levels. Incoming links do. You could have one post dug by Digg, and then have your traffic drop down to 100 a day as it was before, and see no changes in comment spam levels. However, write a few posts which make people want to link to, and comment spam rises. Big time. The more linkable your content, the more they find you.

    There is also a new trend in comment spam: targeted spam.

    I wrote an article for the Blog Herald using the word “credit” and within 10 minutes I had 6 comment spams for loans, credit, mortgages, and related financial scams. Comment spam I wasn’t familiar with that slipped through Akismet. Within a day or so, the level of “specific” comment spam to that post faded away, but it is was clearly based upon the keywords in the title and post, even though the post had nothing to do with finances but giving “credit” to those you link to.

  6. Posted September 14, 2007 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    I have had quite uncommon comment spam once or twice with hardly any of the words listed above. The comment was customized with the post title, it went like ‘I am not sure what I think of [post title], but I sure liked [other post title]’. When it is really not obvious whether it is spam or not, I do an internet search with the words in the comment. If the search results dig up other blog comments with the same phrasing, bingo. If not, I am left with searching the email address or the url. One thing I will never do is send an email or visit the url to make sure.

    I once had such a vague comment and really could not find any proof that it was spam. I approved the comment (after carefully removing the url) and posted another comment requesting the commenter to be more specific lest I should mistake the comment for spam. And the commenter actually replied, with a very long and very specific comment. Phew! I had almost lost a reader.

  7. Posted September 15, 2007 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Folks,
    what about solving the problem from the opposite end? I am talking about solution not for a blogger himself, however, for a commenter. Could a commenter sign with his real name, not with a vague nick? Is he ashamed of his name?
    Then a blogger would filter the comments according to the principle: a real name – a weird nick.

  8. Posted September 15, 2007 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    I covered this in What Do You Put in the Name of a Comment Form?, and the overwhelming majority said they thought the dumb names were dumb especially when cutesy or using keywords – however, many blog under an “assumed” name for anonymity. I don’t have a problem with that, but personally, I like it better if they would call themselves a made-up “human” sounding name like Yam I. Goodenov rather than Cutesy-Wootsey Girl. :D

    The real point is that if you want to be “known” for who you are and what you do on the web, you should be a “real” sounding person. Given that, some of the most brilliant bloggers on the web are known under their pseudonyms – though not as many as once were.

  9. Posted September 15, 2007 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a question for you then.

    Around campus I’m known as Waffles because there are a lot of people named Chris. Hence the name of my site, Waffles Radio. It might not be a real human sounding name, but it is a real name for me. Does that still fall under the category of things you wouldn’t do?

  10. Posted September 15, 2007 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    What you do or shouldn’t do is up to you. If it works for you, then go for it. If it doesn’t, and you don’t want to be “Waffles” when you are 65, then don’t do it.

    If your Waffles Radio site becomes really popular, you will be stuck with that for a long time. Then be known as “Waffles” and be proud. It’s up to you.

    It depends upon your needs, goals, purpose, and desires. Let it take you where it will.

    However, you will have to work a little harder when you leave comments and blog to prove that your brain isn’t filled with waffles. :D

  11. Posted October 6, 2007 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    And, as of late, the word “unknown” as the first word in a comment is often the start of a pingback or trackback spam, as in “Unknown wrote a great post on …. bla bla ba..”

    Which leads to one of my favorite gripes. The search function does not, I assume, use regular expressions so that you can specify, for instance, the word “unknown” (any case) as the first letters in the field “comment” … you could surely do this with the database. But the search function on the dashboard, as is the case with most higher-level software functionality, is a re-invented wheel with fewer features than the original wheel.

    Really, you should do everything in a terminal. :)

  12. Posted November 4, 2007 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    My question is this – the comment I received is okay, not spam, adds value, etc, but the link to the person who commented takes me to a blog which has mildly adult content. My blog is Christian-based and any link to nude pics is not acceptable. Is it within my rights as blog owner to delete that comment? Also, I can’t possibly follow every url from comments and check every blog, how can this be prevented, if it’s possible?

  13. Posted November 4, 2007 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    @Deb:

    Hmmm, I get a lot of comments and trackbacks and I make time to check all that are suspicious. So should you. You can’t prevent all of them, but when in doubt, do.

    If the comment is good, leave it. If any links are “questionable”, remove them and leave the comment. It’s that simple. Don’t stress over this. Christians are some of the most sexual folks I know, though many are some of the most uptight I know. They can take it, unless it is blatant. ;-) It’s a joke, but honestly, if one slips through, it’s not the end of the world. Be diligent and understand that comments are content and you have control over them totally.

    And make sure you have a clear comments policy that says “play nice”.


11 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Checking WordPress for Comment Spam That Slips By You […]

  2. […] are some keyword phrases I use to occasionally search through my blog comments, just in case I got careless and let one slip by, or after I’ve gotten enough duplications to […]

  3. […] Checking WordPress for Comment Spam That Slips By You […]

  4. […] Checking WordPress for Comment Spam That Slips By You […]

  5. […] Checking WordPress for Comment Spam That Slips By You: Dealing with comment spam on your blog is tough, but some do manage to slip through. I offer some quick tips on how to search regularly for comment spam keywords to make sure no comment spam reaches your reading audience. […]

  6. […] Checking WordPress for Comment Spam That Slips By You: Dealing with comment spam on your blog is tough, but some do manage to slip through. I offer some quick tips on how to search regularly for comment spam keywords to make sure no comment spam reaches your reading audience. […]

  7. […] Checking WordPress for Comment Spam That Slips By You: Dealing with comment spam on your blog is tough, but some do manage to slip through. I offer some quick tips on how to search regularly for comment spam keywords to make sure no comment spam reaches your reading audience. […]

  8. […] Checking WordPress for Comment Spam That Slips By You […]

  9. […] Checking WordPress for Comment Spam That Slips By You […]

  10. […] Checking WordPress for Comment Spam That Slips By You […]

  11. […] Checking WordPress for Comment Spam That Slips By You […]

Post a Comment

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 21,184 other followers

%d bloggers like this: