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Back To Akismet On Another Blog

Posted by on Aug 26, 2012

It almost feels like I’m coming full circle. Last September, in my effort to combat spam, I did an experiment trying Akismet and the GASP Antispam Bot plugin independently on this blog to see how each worked, after having an issue with the long term use of Akismet. The GASP plugin worked very well so I turned Akismet off and things were running fine.

sweet sixteen Miss P. //1
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Until February that is, when suddenly there was a rash of spam coming through that GASP wasn’t picking up. In what I felt was a desperate move, I added Akismet back and suddenly spam was drastically reduced once more. Well, that’s not quite right. I was still getting lots of spam, but it was going into the spam filter instead of onto the posts, which was more irritating than anything else. At that time I also changed my settings so that on all my blogs, if there’s even one link in the content it goes to the spam filter, and the same happens if there are more than 2 words in the name area as well, which I know catches some of you here and there but hey, the comment policy is in big, bold letters above the comment box after all. lol I made that particular change on all my blogs.

Things have been running fine on all my other blogs until a couple of weeks ago. Suddenly, the kind of spam I was getting here started showing up on two of my other blogs and right onto the posts. I don’t know if this means that GASP has been figured out and is easier to bypass or if it’s because the version I’m using is still the free version or if it’s really people coming by, typing in stupidity, clicking in that box and moving on.

Regardless, I turned Akismet back on for both of those blogs, and spam, for the most part, went right where it was supposed to be going in the first place, the spam filter. You know, for all the controversy that Akismet seemed to be generating just over a year ago, that bad boy gets the job done.

So I’m running both on 3 of my blogs now, and if the other two start having that problem I’ll add it to those as well and just keep my eyes open for any comments problems I might end up having at some point, since the fix for them is in that post I just linked to, and hope for the best. And right now, the best is less spam; whew!

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I am running blogs with both on my WordPress blogs since the very beginning, honestly both doesn’t do much and often there are problems on new releases on main core. Generally GASP is bypassed easily by spammers and Akismet is blocking good comments all the time. Honestly I don’t have any solution, excepts blogging large list of proxy IPs in the server as most spammers are using those.

August 26th, 2012 | 11:50 PM

Carl, I have to admit that I have less of a problem with Akismet blocking good comments than I do with the amount of spam in the first place. At least I get the ability to deal with more of it in the spam filter than having to remove it from posts.

August 27th, 2012 | 10:23 AM

Probably you are right, this is better option. I am thinking about another solution, but definitely will take a lot of time and have to be done again and again after every update. Removing the footprints that WordPress leave should prevent spammers to scrape blog from Google results.

August 28th, 2012 | 12:06 AM

I totally understand your decision, the combination of Akismet and GASP can give you the most efficient spam protection, although I have got some bad experiences with Akismet, too. (It throws many valuable comments into the spam folder. )
Anna recently posted…Fogpótlás: ha újra magabiztos mosolyt szeretnénk!My Profile

August 27th, 2012 | 9:21 AM

Anna, better to have to go through your spam filter to pull out good comments than having bad ones sitting on your blog for awhile because you haven’t had time to get to them yet. That’s how I see it at least.

August 27th, 2012 | 10:24 AM

Hi Mitch,
I have been using Akismet and it works perfectly fine for me.

August 27th, 2012 | 10:27 AM

Elizabeth, Akismet always worked for me, but because there were worries on other blogs about Akismet deleting comments for some people before we had the chance to use them, and an issue I had with it jamming up my host resources, I shut it down for awhile on all my blogs. Sometimes you have to take the bad with the good. lol

August 28th, 2012 | 9:57 AM

On Mitch Allen’s advice I installed Akismet on my blog just yesterday. I’ve been running G.A.S.P. for quite some time and it has been doing a good job, but suddenly I was getting what you described above. At the same time I’ve been seeing a lot of poorly worded job calls on writer work boards. I looked at a few; they were for people to write comments on blogs (I assume for SEO “firms”).

I tried black-listing the IP addresses of the spammers, and/or the name of the web site they were promoting – no help.

By hiring real people to do the dirty deed they get around GASP, so Akismet is joining the team too. Like you, I’m running both. Hopefully that will cut it down some.
Allan Douglas recently posted…Friday Date Night: Destination SpaceMy Profile

August 27th, 2012 | 1:23 PM

Allan, I still blacklist IP addresses and I find that it actually does work well; it’s just a bit time consuming, but for some reason I take great pleasure in doing it. lol

August 28th, 2012 | 9:58 AM

Same problem here, deletion of good comments really annoying for me, as I have to move them from spam filter every time.

August 27th, 2012 | 5:57 PM

Justin, I can live with doing that.

August 28th, 2012 | 9:58 AM

Hi mitch , i have seen people claiming that Akismet is not good or GASP would be better than the former one! In my point of view, i think both work well in their own perspective because of their different way of capturing the spam comments! Though it irritates me when a nice genuine comment gets trapped in Spam filter or a Real SPAM comments gets escaped from the SPAM filter but at the end I believe everything is working fine after my manual verification on every 2 days time period! Thanks

August 28th, 2012 | 5:42 AM

Adrian, I think having a “few” comments go into spam because either Akismet or GASP think it’s spam is much less intrusive than the spam itself. Of course, there are folks who miss the comment policy that end up there as well; not my fault! lol

August 28th, 2012 | 10:00 AM

Hi Mitch, interesting..not being very knowledgeable about blog security,I only use Akismet. I need to review this I think! Thanks for the heads up.
Steve Walton recently posted…Learn Something New Every DayMy Profile

August 28th, 2012 | 6:04 AM

No problem Steve; that’s why I write these things. 😉

August 28th, 2012 | 10:00 AM

Hi Mitch thanks for the post and advice. Sounds like you have had a frustrating time but glad you have been on top of it and decided what to do (again!)

Angus J McEwan recently posted…Unlike Apple v Samsung, we WANT you to copy us to make a profitMy Profile

August 28th, 2012 | 1:43 PM

Angus, it’s frustrating in a way, but knowing how I can take care of a lot of it makes it a lot easier to deal with.

August 28th, 2012 | 11:21 PM

Yes I turned Akismet back on as well. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I have email notifications sent to me for new comments to approve and it was beginning to literally take over my email inbox.

GASP alone was not working, so I decided to risk the occasional false positive for some peace of mind.

As for IP blocks, it seems rather daunting, but over time as you build up the list you can see it’s effect. I use a plugin called WP-Blacklister.

All it does is add the spam comments IP, email, and url to it’s own window, then you can easily copy and paste them to the blacklist in the comments settings.

It’s slow going but it works. Confound these dastardly spammers!
John Garrett recently posted…Do you control your site’s mobile experience?My Profile

August 28th, 2012 | 2:18 PM

John, doesn’t it become kind of a game after awhile, blocking people and then seeing them show up in the spam filter the next time around. They get creative, I get creative, and it’s actually turning into a bit of fun.

August 28th, 2012 | 11:24 PM

Hi Mitch, so sorry you’ve been having so much trouble with spam. It’s a bother I know. Perhaps some day they’ll invent a plugin that gives spammers a big “ZAP” if they try to spam us. You know, like a bark collar for dogs??? Wishful thinking I know 🙂 Suzanne
Suzanne recently posted…5 Things you Can Do in 10 Minutes Daily That Will Move your Practice ForwardMy Profile

August 28th, 2012 | 8:52 PM

That’s funny Suzanne. I remember there was something like that years ago that you could use to zap those sales calls, but it didn’t last long so I assume the thing didn’t work. These folks will get theirs some day; the law of reciprocity always gets these people in the end.

August 28th, 2012 | 11:33 PM
Garry Stewart:

I have never used GASP before but I use Akismet and it works well for me. One issue I have with it though is taking some comments that are not spam to the spam box.
Garry Stewart recently posted…Max WorkoutsMy Profile

August 29th, 2012 | 1:01 PM

Garry, I think that’s preferable to having to deal with having spam comments showing up on your blog and sitting there for awhile. I don’t mind having to pull things out of spam.

August 29th, 2012 | 9:19 PM

I recently tried an experiment in my blog and set the comments to approve none but the first (new) comment which would be moderated (and I’d do it on my return, as this was when I took my blog break). As soon as I set it to that, I had a deluge of spam with a pseudo-Facebook connection in all of them. All had been caught by Akismet, thankfully, but it was a pain going through them because occasionally some of my actual commenters end up there too.

I think if I were self-hosting, I’d still want to use Akismet, though. It still does a better job than most I’ve seen others use.

(By the way, I went back to fully moderated. I know there are people who don’t like it, but I’m personally not comfortable with some of the total nutters out there… a long story, not for here.)
Val recently posted…What silliness makes you happy?My Profile

August 30th, 2012 | 8:19 AM

Total nutters; the funny stuff you Brits say! lol I didn’t see any link on this comment, which you’d asked me to remove, so it’s all good. But now you’ve got me wondering because I have a plugin that’s supposed to allow you 5 minutes to go in and edit your comment; did that not come up for you? And I do the same as you; one link in the comment & it goes to the spam filter.

August 30th, 2012 | 11:26 PM

That’s the trouble with commenting too late at night (aka early in the morning), my brain disengages! I meant the link to my blog via the ‘website’ field – which of course is on autocomplete at my end once I’ve posted one comment in any one session and which I then forget to take out (or did I? British again, oh noez!) and also the commentluv link to my blog post. Mostly the latter, in this case.

Yes, I saw the edit thingy, and I clicked it. Normally it works for me, but this time it didn’t. Maybe because commentluv is a separate plugin?

By the way, what’s the name of the comment plugin you’re using that edits comments, Mitch? A few of us (probably not enough of us) are trying to persuade the powers that be at to put in comment editing there. Other bloghosts do it, I don’t see why they can’t…

August 31st, 2012 | 10:36 AM

Val, it’s called Ajax Edit Comments, and I added it last year so folks could go in and fix things for a short period of time. I wonder why you couldn’t get rid of your link; usually it won’t let people remove email addresses only.

August 31st, 2012 | 9:55 PM

Thanks for the plugin name, Mitch. I’ll see if I can get that into the thread on the forum in 🙂

September 1st, 2012 | 9:48 AM

PS. I also have Akismet set to grab comments with any links – even just one. This thing that Auttomatic have of ‘spammers often use many links’ is rubbish. If they think they can get away with just one, they will.

PS. Could you remove my blog link from my previous comment please, I’d not intended to post one to this post as I find that talking about spam tends to attract it more! (I did try to edit it out but it didn’t work). Thanks. 🙂

August 30th, 2012 | 8:23 AM

hey Mitch,

someone sent me here to read this and all I can say is “sorry I neglected GASP!”

I spent all my time working on the anti spam of commentluv premium GASP and I neglected the free version for so long.

so sorry you had some issues with nasty spammers, I will get right on with some improvements to the free version as soon as my relaunch is over and I get some time to add some changes.

I used aksimet with gasp on some of my blogs because even though akismet can have false positives I thought it did a good job (mostly). GASP was never meant to be an akismet killer, just another option to prevent automated spam.

if you’re getting spam come through then probably the spammers have figured out how to get past it. I knew they did with the premium version a while back so I changed the code and now it’s doing a great job at bot and human spam so perhaps I can ‘borrow’ some of those features and put some in the free version..
Andrew Bailey recently posted…Dime sale madness! CommentLuv Premium at $21My Profile

August 31st, 2012 | 3:10 AM

Andy, long time no see! You know, last August & September it was a major conversation piece, GASP or Akismet, but few people were saying they were going to continue running both (well, except Sire lol). It never even occurred to me that it hadn’t been updated, but then again I hadn’t thought it might need updating either. It would be nice because I’ve added tons of protections to at least keep the original stuff off the blog and have it go to the spam filter and it’s meant I don’t participate in things like trackbacks and limit the name field to less than 3, which throws a lot of people into spam.

You’re the man Andy; that’s all I have to say! 😉

August 31st, 2012 | 9:59 PM

the update should be showing in your dashboard now.

it has been updated to rename the checkbox ‘name’ value and allow you to change it if you spot that people have been getting around it (perhaps by scripts that know what the checkbox name value was)
Andrew Bailey recently posted…Global CommentLuv SearchMy Profile

September 1st, 2012 | 3:51 AM

Thanks for the update Andy, although I looked at that field and have absolutely no idea what I’d do with it. lol

September 1st, 2012 | 10:15 AM

you can leave it as it is and if you find you’re getting targeted again just change the number to something else (without spaces) so the name is changed and spammers scripts that use the old name wont work any more
Andrew Bailey recently posted…Submit Your ArticleMy Profile

September 1st, 2012 | 10:16 AM

I got it now Andy; thanks a bunch.

September 1st, 2012 | 10:24 AM

Hey, I didn’t know there’s such setting ( I should have gone to the options and read them one by one carefully) 🙂

Thanks. I just changed the name to some random alphabets. Hope the spammers stop (for a while). Hate them so much sigh
Michael Aulia recently posted…Samsung confirms Galaxy S3 Mini under wayMy Profile

October 14th, 2012 | 1:24 PM

Good deal Michael. I’ve had less spam lately than in the past so I’m assuming it’s working well.

October 14th, 2012 | 7:51 PM

Seems like I can’t use my name with spaces anymore (it is 3 words :D). Anyways, I still use GASP, yes, like you I am having problems with it last few months (but, I still use it, don’t really know why I haven’t turned Akismet back on; I think I don’t really care about that nowadays or maybe I like manually sending comments to spam – as sometimes, some authentic and real comments do get caught in the spam filter).

But, yes, I do wish Andy work it (and seems like he is going to :D).

August 31st, 2012 | 3:11 PM

I hear you! I have just made a change to the code and I’m testing it out on right now . if all goes well I’ll issue the update this weekend.
Andrew Bailey recently posted…Go to Dad for some fatherly adviceMy Profile

August 31st, 2012 | 3:12 PM

Yeah Jeevan, but what you’ve done with your name works well. If GASP starts working better I might allow that 3rd word or character again, but we’ll see.

August 31st, 2012 | 10:02 PM

Hi Mitch ,
i came across some ways on how to handle spam besides using an anti robot software like Akismet may be you can try this
1.remove the account of the spammers
2.block their email.
3.log into c panel and block their IP
(your host can help you on this)
steven Papas recently posted…13 of the Handiest Insurance Apps Out ThereMy Profile

September 1st, 2012 | 6:12 AM

Thanks Steven; not bad ideas.

September 1st, 2012 | 10:19 AM

I’ve been interested to read this – recently commentluv premium on my blog and I’m not experimenting with turning Askimet off as I haven’t had any spam comments since installing the commentluv.
Erica Price recently posted…Review: Warwick CastleMy Profile

September 8th, 2012 | 4:39 AM

Erica, even Andy says to run both together, so I’m glad I went back to that format.

September 8th, 2012 | 10:07 AM