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Why You Need a Spam Filter


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Spam Comments

Recently, Teresa Boardman wrote an article about comments on blogs and she and I have spoken via email about various aspects of comments that are negative. We all want comments, some of us even have the glorious problem of having to weed through comments for the *quality* comments, but today I want to address spam comments. It’s not always a big deal, usually I just click “spam” and Akismet eats them.

I wanted to share with you today why you need Akismet spam catcher on your blog, here’s a perfect example… I wrote a super awesome article about meeting Jeff & Rocky Turner and this was one of the comments which relates nothing at all to what I wrote:

Well, besides truly enjoying the “art of the deal,” my passion is in working with new and experienced agents in developing their businesses. I Always think about the four “C’s”: Confidence, Commitment, Contacts, and Closing Skills. I’ve worked with agents who have all the four C’s, but it’s taken them a year or more to make money. Nothing, nothing, nothing, then, boom! It all kicks in and they do fine. That’s a beautiful thing to see and very rewarding.
Visit At:wills

Hundreds Like This

I broke the link so as not to give this idiot any traffic. But as silly as this seems, my small blog doesn’t even compare to such a big blog as this. Literally hundreds of unrelated comments are made here (and likely on your blog) that you have to read twice to see if they are even spam… they seem so harmless. It’s not harmless though when I write an article pleading for help for a friend and this same comment pops up. It also makes me look badly as a host if I miss comments like these, so it’s important for people to read every comment that comes through no matter how exhausting.

Dear Spammer, please don’t promote yourself when I’m asking for charity, giving an industry report, writing about technology or anything else, you’re already a jerk and now I have proof. Love, Lani

Get a Spam Catcher

Get Akismet Spam Catcher for your Word Press blog by clicking here, it’s a simple plugin. It won’t get rid of all spam but it sure will alleviate the stress of weeding spam out of your comment stream.

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. Poppy Dinsey

    July 30, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    I added Askimet a while back, I miss the porn.

  2. Ken in Elgin

    July 30, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Easy to use plugin and it catches most of the spam.

  3. Jennifer in Louisville

    July 30, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Nice post! Now come visit my site of prescription medications!

    😛

    Heh, yea. If you are visible to your customer, it means you are visible to the spammers as well. Having spam filters will help catch most of the spammers and will keep you from wanting to hang yourself.

  4. Brian Sparr

    July 30, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Another spam filter that works nicely with WordPress is reCAPTCHA. The great thing about it is that as people leave comments, they are helping to digitize books.

  5. Jay Thompson

    July 30, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    I use both Akismet and Bad Behavior (which blocks some automated spam-bots). Both do a wonderful job of blocking and not publishing the 600 or so spam comments I get every day.

    The problem I was having is “false positives”. Occasionally the spam blockers will flag a real comments as spam. And if you get hundreds a day, it’s almost impossible to weed through them all to pull out the real comments.

    So I also just (as in yesterday) added a “math captcha” similar to the one here on AG. That has reduced the amount of crap Akismet flags, and allows me to review what it does catch and “rescue” if needed.

    It’s a never ending battle. I wish the losers that write these spambots and comments would get a life.

  6. Dan Connolly

    July 30, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    I agree, I hate spam! 😉

  7. teresa boardman

    July 30, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    I have great spam blockers and get very little spam on my blog but I stopped by to let you know that Hormel is a Minnesota company and they make spam. Some people actually eat it. I guess that is a good thing because the people in Austin, that is Austin Minnesota have jobs because of spam. If you look at it that way, spam is not all bad . . unless you eat it.

  8. The Harriman Team

    July 30, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    From the Akismet web site:

    7,038,756,038 spams caught so far (7 billion?? damn…)

    15,369,688 so far today

    88% of all comments are spam

    That last stat is the kicker…makes me all the more diligent about making sure mine are in the other 12%.

  9. Jay Thompson

    July 30, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Teresa – Austin (Texas) has a *great* festival (or at least they used to) called “Spamarama” — Spam cook-offs, Spamolympics (including, of course, a Spam Toss event), a Spam Ball and more!

    Lani – is Spamarama still held?

  10. Elaine Reese

    July 30, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    My WP Cutline design has Akismet built into it. How do the spammers send out their junk? Do they just blast all WP blogs or do they first find specific addresses then hit those blogs? I notice that they tend to try to hit the older posts and hit them repeatedly. I wish I understood the how and the why!

  11. teresa boardman

    July 30, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    Ha! You don’t have a spam museum there. LOL wanna be

  12. Bill Lublin

    July 30, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Spam,Spam,Spam,Spam,Spam,Spam,Spam,Spam,Spam,Spam,Spam,Spam,Spam,Spam,Spam.
    Who knew that Lani & Benn lived near Teresa in Minnesota?

  13. Minneapolis Real Estate

    July 31, 2008 at 12:49 am

    Whew! I am glad I could pass your math test. Otherwise you might think this is spam!

    I have a wordpress blog with askimet and I have to pre-approve any comments before they are displayed. The askimet spam filter is so good that I almost never even see any comment spam.

  14. Glenn fm Naples

    July 31, 2008 at 5:20 am

    I use akismet and do not review all the spam comments caught to find the valid comments – just hit delete. Who has time to review several hundred a day.

  15. Jay Thompson

    July 31, 2008 at 7:01 am

    @Glenn – implementing the captcha I mentioned in comment #5 reduced my “review queue” from over 600 yesterday to 4 today. (1 of which was a valid comment) I agree no one can review hundreds, but I hate to see any valid comment stuck in Akismet and labeled as spam.

    @Elaine – most of the spammers use automated systems to dump links into thousands of blogs a day. They use “spiders” to crawl around the internet gathering web addresses and then just flood the net with their garbage. The theory is sooner or later they will find some blog that doesn’t have spam filters and then they will get “credit” in search engines for the links they have out there.

  16. Eric Bramlett

    July 31, 2008 at 8:15 am

    @Jay –

    Spam-a-rama is still going on. I haven’t been for a couple of years, but it’s pretty fun & disgusting at the same time. Last time I went, we brought my friend’s yellow lab, and he had a better time than anyone cleaning up all the spam on the ground.

  17. Holly White

    July 31, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Akismet works perfect for me, but the added recaptcha sounds like an extra line of security that could helpful. I sure do miss those E.D. posts though!

  18. Benn Rosales

    July 31, 2008 at 10:57 am

    @Eric I tried attending and could smell the spam from the car and with the hot sun, humidity, several beers in me, and the dusty fair like feeling, I only made it 3 steps towards before losing my lunch- thus never actually making it, but I was there with you in spirit! Maybe next go around you can live broadcast? heh

  19. Frank Borges LL0SA= Broker

    July 31, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Try this… find their cell phone numbers and send them an Efax. Efax will make 5 attempts with their high pitch scream.

    😉

    Hope that makes your day.

    Frank
    http://www.RealtorSpam.org

  20. Cheryl Allin

    July 31, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Haha @Bill #12 – I can’t hear “spam” without thinking Monty Python, either. Bloody Vikings! You can’t have egg bacon spam and sausage without the spam.

    I’m so glad somebody invented image captcha, and I really love how this site handles it with the “Try this: 1+4” Some other sites take their image captcha to such an extreme it’s virtually impossible to decipher.

    Now, if I could only clean out the 500 spam emails I get into Outlook per day, I’d be happy.

  21. Elaine Reese

    July 31, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Thanks, Jay, for the explanation. Can’t imagine anyone not having a spam filter.

    Frank B., that would be fun to do to the political phone calls I’ve been getting 4 times a day.

  22. Benn Rosales

    July 31, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    ((note))

    If I’m a spammer I know that you moderate the first 2 or 3 comments from a new commenter. So I will enter your space and leave several somewhat coherent comments to confuse you. Once moderated and allowed – BAM I’m going to spam bot the living daylights out of your blog and of course they’ll be allowed through. This is where captcha comes in. The spam bot can’t always navigate such things so they lose, however, the spammer can still enter and leave spam directly.

    Lani and I both spent nearly 2 hours a week or so ago cleaning out posts so we have first hand knowledge of the MO. Redundant blocking is key.

  23. Tom

    July 31, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Benn

    One of the things I have is the comments being sent to me via email. If junk starts coming through, banning the email and or IP address is a quick solution. I have not had the captcha on as this has not been a problem lately, but I would not hesitate to use it if I needed it.

  24. Glenn fm Naples

    July 31, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Jay – thanks for the suggestion and I do agree with you, it is nice not to mark a valid comment as a spam comment.

  25. Vicki Moore

    July 31, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    Gotta question. What do I do about sites taking my posts verbatim then giving credit to the wrong site? I don’t want to put the link here, but…what to do?

  26. Paula Henry

    August 1, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    I may eventually need more than Askimet – for now, it does a great job. I used to get a lot, which has been mostly eliminated – when they can’t get through, they go elsewhere.

  27. Matthew Rathbun

    August 1, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    Ok, ok I’ll stop commenting 🙂

    No, really I am tired of the junk. Honestly, the church blog that I host gets attacked with more crap than any of the rest. It’s sad that people have nothing better to do than spamming.

  28. dhuwuh

    August 19, 2008 at 8:39 am

    how to stop spammer at blogspot sir? thanks

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