Tag Archives: spam

Akismet Is, Well, Too Good?

The latest update to Akismet has been an interesting one. There are some changes that are apparent because of it, and one that’s kind of driving me nuts.

The first changes concern the extra notification on both comments and on spam comments. On the first, you see something telling you that they’ve approved the comment being there. That’s pretty obvious since the comment is there, so that seems redundant. If you make a change, such as sending a comment to spam or trash, it tells you what you did. That’s redundant as well since WordPress tells you that same thing. Oh yeah; it actually flagged a comment I wrote as needing to be moderated; that’s never happened before. And when I finish writing my comment, it tells me it’s approved it; interesting as well.

As it regards spam it tells you that it’s decided a post is spam. That’s obvious because it’s in the spam filter, and thus it’s redundant. And if you move it out of spam it tells you that you’ve moved it out of spam, which is redundant because WordPress tells you that as well. So, both of those moves were unneeded.

Here’s the biggie, though. Immediately after I upgraded on all 3 of my blogs, suddenly I had tons more spam. I was used to getting a lot of spam a day, but I could check in a 4 hour period and I might have between 15 to 20 spam messages; that was okay. Suddenly I was getting between 30 and 80 every hour; what the hey? And trying to be conscientious, I was looking through all of those messages, and out of 3 blogs I only found 2 comments that I thought were legit. Suddenly spam was an issue, and not because Akismet wasn’t working.

Where did all those messages suddenly come from? Freaked me out, to be sure. The first thing I did was go to the discussion tab under settings and change one of the parameters to close comments on all blogs more than 90 days old on all 3 blogs. But that troubled me because I don’t really mind getting legitimate comments on old posts. Then I realized I did have an option, and decided to go for it on two of my blogs.

I decided to go ahead and try the Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin to my other two blogs; I haven’t added it to this one. Most of you know it adds a little box for people to check to prove they’re not spammers. Frankly, I don’t get as many comments on those two blogs, and they both seemed to be getting way too many spam messages. I added it, then waited an hour and checked both. All that spam… gone. Whew!

So why haven’t I added it onto this one yet? Strangely enough, it’s because I’m actually on this blog most of the day, or at least have the administrative area open. I check it often, and thus it’s easier for me to keep up with all the spam. For now, I can still deal with it all. But I’m not going to be hesitant to add it if things get out of hand. It does work well, which I figured it might. I don’t want to add something extra that might impede comments, but one sometimes has to pick their battles.

Update – As of the 12/17 update, it looks like Akismet has removed those notifications from the comments area; thank goodness! I haven’t noticed a change in spam just yet, but I’m going to be monitoring my other sites to see what goes on.


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Is Your Comment Process In Error?

Lately I’ve noticed two things that are somewhat troubling to me as it regards comments. Nope, this isn’t another spam post, although that’s pretty irksome, since I don’t consider that commenting at all.


by James Gentry

The first involves blogs that seemingly accept comments, yet never notify anyone that those comments have been responded to. Sometimes I mention it to those folks, but when they don’t do anything about it I move on. In a weird way, they can’t respond to me because their comments don’t work to begin with. In another way, if I leave a message on those posts I always go back to see what they have to say, and if I see nothing I just don’t go back to waste my time again.

The second are posts that either close comments right up front or close them within a few days of posting their article. We all get kind of busy, and sometimes it takes me a week to finally get to check out a bunch of blogs, and I hate when I want to say something and I find that comments are closed already. Now, I acknowledge that there are certain types of articles that one might not want comments on, and I have no problem with that. But the worry about spam (heck I guess it does pop its ugly head in here) leading to people closing comments so quickly just doesn’t make sense. There are so many other ways to reduce spam without having to go to that extreme.

On my first point, I do believe a lot of people don’t know they aren’t sending comments back out. However, I believe if you’re writing your blog and you’re paying attention and you never have even one person come back to comment on your comment, you have to start thinking something’s wrong. I notice is more often on blogs that don’t thread comments, but it happens on some of those as well. Adding the “threaded comments” plugin would help because it adds a check box at the bottom of the comment section that asks people if they’d like responses to comments, and you can have it turned on by default like I do or let people decide to check it. That would at least help to some degree.

I think the overwhelming majority of us want comments on our blogs. Anything we do that irritates people will keep them from commenting, meaning our blogs will never have the opportunity to achieve any real success. And there’s so many good blogs out in the blogosphere that it would be a shame.

The Spam Cookbook








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Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam…

I was alerted to a post written by our friend Holly titled Spammerview. It’s a very witty representation of the problem most of us have with spam, told in a story form that, while you’re reading it, easy captures all the different types of spam we seem to be getting these days.


No Spam by David Hegarty

My mind harkens to last week when I keep thinking I saw a post titled something like “Does More Spam Mean I’m Successful”? I’ve been thinking about this one for awhile, and I’m starting to think that there almost has to be a direct correlation between spam and how well your blog is going. After all, does anyone get all that much spam if no one is visiting your blog?

I still get a few one liners here and there, but today’s spam is definitely getting a bit more sophisticated. As I wrote about spam back in July, some of it actually seems to be on topic sometimes, though if you read it well you can tell, especially when the same message appears on other posts at the same time. Another trick is its copying someone else’s comment on your post and using it as theirs, which might be hard for some people to remember if they have lots of comments on that post. And finally, now some of the spam actually figures out your name via the name of the author of the post, and that might make you think, at least initially, that it’s legitimate.

Days ago I had a review of this blog written by Forum Spotlight, which was very nice, and the first comment was a spam comment. How do I know? It never mentioned my blog, which it supposedly didn’t like, and it talked about all the images, and it said it liked images being transparent. If images are transparent you can’t see them, so it’s spam; by the way, I hope you drop over there to take a look at it.

I just think we’re going to be stuck with spam, but I’ve decided that, as much as I hate it, I’m going to do whatever I can to increase how much of it I’m getting, because that might eventually mean I’m rocking this mug! 🙂

Cuisipro® <br />Ice Cream Maker – 1 Quart”/></td>
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Cuisipro® Ice Cream Maker – 1 Quart






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Topic Related Spam

Have you noticed that there’s a new and more sophisticated spam that’s out lately? It’s interesting because it’s actually related to the topic in some fashion, to the degree in which you just might leave it alone because it looks like the real thing.

Only it’s not the real thing. You know it for a couple of reasons. One, it’s mostly a one line item, although I did get one that actually had 3 lines strung together. Second, there’s the little squiggly at the end of the message, which I just figured out where it is. Here’s an example:

my grandfather is also a baby boomer and he is also a war veteran~`”

Here’s another one that was actually on a post of mine on writing articles:

sometimes article writing too much time and effort, specially when you are writing lots of stuff~–

Anyway, all of this stuff is spam, and you need to be leery of it. Sometimes it comes with a link in the message, though neither of these did. They do come with some interesting links as the home domain name, though. The first message came from a site that I assume sells USB related items. The second came from something related to male reproductive systems; hey, that’s actually what it said! lol

I’m also starting to see this on a lot of other blogs, and people are responding to this stuff. Yes, it’s tricky. Sometimes it even comes with an image. But let’s be realistic folks If the picture is of a pretty girl but the name says “David”, it’s fake. Also, if the email address and the domain name don’t quite match up, there’s the strong possibility that it’s fake as well. The first one above for the USB stuff was sent from an email address with “brownies” as the domain name. The reproductive system one was sent from something called “kimber.”

I put it out there in case y’all have been receiving the same sort of stuff and either letting it pass or wondering about it just a bit. It’s spam; kill it.



Champion Men’s Mesh Shorts;
click on image

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How To Tell A Post Is Spam

You know, I wouldn’t think that most people couldn’t identify spam when they see it. However, I’ve been to enough blogs and seen enough spam even on those blogs where people seem to usually monitor what’s going on in their comments area.

Heck, I know spam is getting pretty sneaky. Sometimes it’s hard to tell a good comment from a spam comment. If you’re not paying attention a new spam comment will show up on an old post, which is why I recently talked about making some posts private.

Still, you must be vigilant in fighting the great spam battle. If you don’t, not only will the spammers win, but those savvy visitors of yours that see you can’t tell spam from the real thing might decide to stay away. So, let’s see if I can help you out in some fashion.

1. Watch out for insulting spam. There are obviously trolls whose job, so they feel, is to make everyone else’s life miserable. Insulting spam is usually pretty easy to determine, though; it’s never on topic.

2. Watch for spam that’s not on topic. Maybe I should have started with this one, but I’m bringing it up now. There is spam that looks pretty good and you might miss it because you don’t read to the end. If a comment starts out intentionally evasive, it’s probably going to continue being so, or else it will introduce something that makes no sense whatsoever.

3. Set your spam filter to move a comment with even one link in it to your spam folder. Sure, every once in awhile you’re going to get a legitimate post in there, but what I’ve seen most often is someone following up a post with a link in it with a second post saying “hey, my post didn’t show up”, or something to that effect. I hope everyone checks their spam folders.

4. One line comments. Unless you know the person, you should probably just delete all of these anyway. Keeping something that says “nice post” is an insult to your blog, and is most probably spam.

5. Check out the email addresses. Most people aren’t using Hotmail anymore, but even if they are, if the name before “@” doesn’t make sense it’s probably spam. If the name you’re given is of one sex but the name in the email address is of another sex, it’s probably spam.

6. It used to be that spam didn’t come with images, but now it does. Make sure you read the comment instead of relying on the fact that there’s now a gravatar attached.

7. Now spam can come in your name. That used to be an easy tell as well, but some of the more sophisticated spam can read who the author of the post is and add it to their comment.

8. If the comment is written to the “webmaster”, it’s spam. Who really uses the term “webmaster” anymore anyway?

9. If the post is in another language and you’ve only ever written in one language, it’s most probably spam. Back in the day I used to copy some of those messages into translation websites to see if it was saying anything pertinent; just scrap it and move on.

10. Finally, if you’re not sure, even with these tips, you can always test the waters by sending an email to the email address. Write a short post saying something like “just seeing if this email is valid before I allow the comment on my blog.” If you get a rejection back, or heck, if you get nothing back, consider it spam and kill it. Even if it’s not really spam, if the person on the other end doesn’t respond, then they probably had no intentions of coming back to your blog, in which case you didn’t need their comment anyway.

I hope that helps. Of course, if you have Akismet on your blog it will help even more.

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