I’ve been speaking at a variety of meetups lately on web publishing, blogging, and podcasting, and the topics often turn to managing comments and comment spam. “I’ve started getting a lot of porn comments lately.” “I’m so sick of all those credit card spammers.” “I spend too much time and energy on comment spam, I just don’t know what to do.” “I seem to spend all my time deleting comment spam and it just keeps coming back.”
My answer is always the same: Use the Akismet WordPress Plugin on WordPress, Movable Type, Drupal, phpBB, Joomla, and other web publishing platforms. Mark comment spam as spam and do not delete it to help Akismet do its job.
It appears that I have to be more blatant. If you delete comment spam, you make matters worse, so let me make myself clear.
DO NOT DELETE COMMENT SPAM. MARK COMMENT SPAM AS SPAM.
Akismet works if we all work together. It’s a crowd sourced project. I mark a comment as spam and the data is transferred to Akismet’s database. You mark a similar comment as spam and Akismet begins to do the work of processing the data and filtering out comments across everyone using Akismet, thus, you don’t get the comment spam that I and some others got, and I don’t get the comment spam you and others marked as spam. Together we make the world a safer place to blog.
COMMENT SPAM IS NOT PERSONAL.
While there might be some jerk who likes sniping at you on your blog, comment spam is not personal.
The majority of comment spam is created by two different methods. The first and most common is by automation. A “bot” follows links to and from websites with comments to leave comments. Some bots are highly sophisticated and target sites by content related to subject matter and topics, which explains why that credit card or mortgage post receives more credit card and mortgage comment spams than your other posts.
A growing percentage of comment spam is created by humans called human spammers. Many of these are people moving up in the world from email spam to comment spam, all the same thing. Using low paying incentive sweat-shop projects to get people to search for high traffic and/or related content sites and putting on comments with links to their employer sites.
Akismet deals with both.
When you start to take comment spam personally, you may choose to put roadblocks in the path of your legitimate commenters and audiences. Don’t. CAPTCHAs are usually the first choice, the dumb number and spelling tests you have to fill out to prove you are a human being. Since most automated bots are programmed in very short time to break through every road block put in their path (if they didn’t they’d lose money), and human spammers can solve these in seconds, CAPTCHAs have been proven repeatedly to not work. Someone is always coming out with a better mouse trap, but trust me, Since about 2005, nothing has worked better consistently than Akismet.
Matt Mullenweg and his Automattic team came up with a powerful process of collecting comment spam data from every Akismet user and collating it into prevention filters. Take advantage of them and help them do their job to protect sites from comment spam.
Consider this a public service announcement. DO NOT DELETE COMMENT SPAM. MARK SPAM AS SPAM. If we all work together, we can make the world a happier place to blog.
- It Really Is Spam? – Akismet
- What is Comment Spam?
- Mean Spirited Comments and Blogging
- Monitoring Blog Comments
- Reporting Spam Blogs – Splogs
- How NOT to Comment on Comments
- Editing Your Blog Comments
- Do You Care Enough To Keep Your Blog Comment Spam Free?
- I’m Winning the Battle Against Comment Spam
- Are Blog Comments Getting You Down?
- Can We Work Together To Stop Comment Spam?
- Comment Spammers Never Stop, Even When Your Blog is Down
- Protecting Your WordPress Blog
- Attack of the Mean Commenter: Blocking Commenters and Comments on Your WordPress Blog
- What Will Stop Comment Spam? | The Blog Herald
- Checking WordPress for Comment Spam That Slips By You
- Fighting Comment Spam: WordPress Comments Mass Edit Mode
- When Akismet Goes Bad: What to do when Akismet starts spamming your own comments
- Blog Struggles: When Are Too Many Comments Too Many Comments?
- Are You Willing To Go Naked For One Day For Akismet?
- When a Comment Requires the Honest Truth
- Comment Spam Alert: I Read a Similar Article
- Blog Struggles: Trackbacks Count
- What are the Essential WordPress Plugins You Can’t Live Without?