Declaring Akismet Bankruptcy

I have simply had enough of leaving what I feel are worthy contributions to the discussion on blogs using the Akismet plugin for comment spam, only for the comments not to appear, or worse, seeing pingbacks from the 100s of blogs that scrape my RSS feeds, but not my own pingbacks appearing.

Akismet

I am going to have to come up with an alternative way to comment

The false positive percentage in my personal experience must be the wrong side of 50% in recent weeks for comments, especially on blogs where I haven’t commented before, and I have a feeling it is probably the same for pingbacks, though it is something that is much harder to track (I would have to write 10 blog posts every day)

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Comments

  1. says

    Andy,
    I think that Akismet has been a valuable tool for keeping out the porn, drugs and SEO comment spam that I get.

    I think that like any tool, you need to know how to set it up and utilize it as it was designed. I have not found a true “plug and play” ultimate solution for anything. Case in point, just because you ran a document through spell check that doesn’t mean shouldn’t read what you write (it doesn’t catch everything).

    Bloggers need to be more proactive in ensuring they are engaging their readers, not excluding them. Similarly, no follow should not be deployed, in my opinion, on any blogging platform as a default. Not to say that every comment or outbound link should be followed. There is not an absolute when it comes to these things, we all must realize this and be proactive at ensuring they are used properly.

  2. says

    Over the recent weeks I’ve been experiences a larger than normal amount of “good” comments go to the spam while a massive amount of Google Groups comments get through. Annoying.

  3. says

    Since I read your post on Spam Karma configuration I dumped Akismet and never looked back.

    SK2 is doing a great job in general and only needs a very rare adjustment of a false positive.
    Thanks for that recommendation, certainly after reading your Akismet experiences.

  4. says

    Is the bottom line for this line of thread that Askimet is problematic and should be replaced by spam Karma configuration?

    If this is so, how has spam Karma configuration strengthened the weaknesses of Askimet?

  5. says

    On January 10th on my personal blog I installed Defensio after going mad with Akismet and I’m very pleased with the difference. At first there were some false positives as would be expected but not now.

    * Recent accuracy: 98.46%
    * 1553 spam
    * 348 legitimate comments
    * 31 false negatives (undetected spam)
    * 26 false positives (legitimate comments identified as spam)

    I recommend that you try Defensio as I’m sure you will be pleased with it http://defensio.com/

  6. says

    I had a farewell party for Akismet on my self-hosted blog several months ago and welcomed Defensio to my team and have not been one bit sorry. Akismet seems to be broken by design and they are going to have to do a substantial overhaul for it to be useable in my opinion.

    Those blogging at WordPress.com don’t have a choice and the forums are full of bloggers who cannot even comment on their own blogs without being caught by Akismet. And far too many are not even allowed to see the spam that Akismet says it has caught for them, so they cannot even rescue legitimate comment. It is simply unacceptable behavior.

    And Akismet is not the only case of defects in AutoMATTic product. Just ask those poor bloggers who have the HTML in their blog posts stripped, changed and mangled by the WordPress.com and .org software.

  7. says

    When you find a way, let me know because have the opposite issue: good friends’ comments get lost in my akismet. Akismet and Matt always say it has a very miniscule level of false positives. I guess we’re supposed to just bow and thank them whatever their product does wrong.

  8. says

    I guess it is really hard to filter spams. I started noticing I get spam comments on my blog after Akismet had updated to their latest version. Maybe, just a lot of spammers now-a-days … good thing if the comment being posted have content in it. I get a lot with just mixed of letters that I couldn’t even understand.
    Do these spammers get something in return? Because for sure, I wouldn’t approve a comment on my blog with just: gbsjyeybawk39 iy8ds y <– that kind of thing

  9. says

    I’ve been happy with Akismet until recently. For some reason, this week I am getting more missed spam than caught spam.

    Also, about a week ago I posted a comments on a couple blogs where I hadn’t commented before, and both times included a link to related content (not mine.) The comments never got published. After the fact I wondered if the links got me tossed into the Akismet spam bin.

    The sad fact is that if there is much spam at all, anything short of perfection will result in loss of real comments, as many people won’t have time to sift through spam for false positives.

  10. says

    I agree with Stephen. “Ultimate” anti-spam solutions do not exist. If it looks like that some product doesn’t work well, you should try its competitors. For example, I replaced Aksimet a few weeks ago with one of the mentioned tools above, but it didn’t show better results at all…

  11. says

    I have had some of the same problems with Akismet. A lot of spam every day that is caught, but then there is always a valid comment or two as well that I need to pull out. They actually originally had me in as a spammer until I contacted them to sort things out.

    I feel that it is still a good system, and the best their is. However, I can definitely see where you are coming from ;)

  12. says

    I seem to have the problem where some comments end up in moderation (that is where your comment ended up Andy), others in Spam and still others get through.

    The amount of pawn coming through at present is crazy and something is needed. I havn’t tried a captcha yet, perhaps that would stop the robots, otherwise Akismet seems to be the only one that is 2.5 compatible at present. If anyone knows different please let me know.

    cheers
    les

  13. says

    I’m only a tiny blogger, but I’ve had only one false positive, and no false negatives have ever made it through to my blog, in 575 comments.

    I don’t see why spammers would waste their time targeting blogs that they know to be armed with Akismet. I mean, from a spammers point of view, what would be the benefit? Akismet is close to batting 100 for me, so I think I’ll stick with it until it bats a little more ordinarily.

    • says

      I just changed it – I wanted to make sure it was syndicated with that spelling first ;)

      It will be interesting to see how much traffic a front page for bankruptsy in google gets me for a few hours as well.

  14. says

    Andy,

    Thanks for your comment! I did get it but as you suspected, I had to fish it out of the spam section. I was notified though.

    Have no idea why it ended up there, but it gave an error that said somethinga bout your IP address being a problem.

    I will comment soon on it!

    Kenneth

  15. says

    The problem with a collective store is that it is a collective store. The way most email spam solutions work are (a) preset rules or (b) a system that learns what you think of as spam.

    The idea is to combine these and that would leave akismet in the cold. I use a bayesian filter which I train to recognise two things spam and ham. A positive ham report publishes the comment while a positive spam report blocks it. A fail on both drops it through to be published leaving me to train the filter or not as need be.

    Whenever I am sure that there is no spam in the comments I can train on all comments to keep the ham test up to date. Although the spammers try to trick the system by using unspammy words they still do not use words with the same frequency as in real comments and the filter is just as effective.

    However with so many people submitting data for testing to akismet it is easy to introduce noise into the signal. Sadly this is part of the design.

    the ideal spam stopper (like spam assassin) takes the opinion of many different tests. This would be the ideal solution to comment spam too.

  16. says

    I’m not too concerned about the comments left on my blog since I’ve become used to checking my Akismet file to see if any legitimate comments got flagged as spam.

    I do find it really annoying that lately it seems that most comments I leave on other blogs are not appearing.

  17. says

    My favorite is leaving a link to one of my own blog posts in a newer blog post (trackback) and finding it in the Akismit queue.

    I’m trackback spamming MYSELF, apparently. Thanks Akismit, brilliant.

  18. says

    If anyone is interested in an alternative to Akismet you are welcome to use PHSDL Spam filter http://www.phsdl.net which harvests Spam domains from my honeypot forum.

    I have developed the system primarily to stop Spam to my forum and my blog. Most of the domains on the Spam list are Zlob Trojan Malware and other redirect domains. The system will not stop passive comment Spam, but that you can moderate yourself through WP comment moderation. These domains are the nasty one’s that kill your blog for Google!

    I have been using the system on my blog for four months now, and it works perfectly. Still my blog does not get as many visitors as Andy’s..:) So he has more Spammers than me! But in these four months I must have only gotten 10 Spam attempts pass the PHSDL filter that I moderated via WP comment moderation module.

    The system is non commercial, so you have to take it as is. I am allowing bloggers to use it for free, as long as it is for a personal blog and not a business blog. So if you are not going TechCrunch50 any time soon, you are welcome to it!

    How it works? I will give you a snippet of PHP code that you will add to the top of wp-comments-post.php When comments are submitted by a commentator they will be checked against the Spam domains in PHSDL database. If there is a positive match of a domain url in the comments to PHSDL list, comments will not be added to your post and the Spammer will get a nasty Splash screen identifying that their domain is a Spam domain. I have set the script to time out, so if my server is down, for what ever reason, your blog will not be effected! The plus side of this system is that the Spammers’ domains get indexed by Google via PHSDL Hot Black List. So if one is to Google for the caught domain it will show it on the Black List!

    So if you are interested in the filter please email me
    admin at phsdl.net I will send you the script code with authorization password. You should backup all your WP files especially wp-comments-post.php before installing the script. Also it is not a plugin, so you may need to re-add the script to your WP after any WP version upgrade. I will not be responsible for your blog!

    As Andy said, Akismet is hivethink that impedes creative communication, by having mass-community of bloggers decide if a commentator is a Spammer or not. If a comment is controversial and it is labeled as Spam by the author of a blog, and then that commentator is barred from commenting on other blogs, that is destructive not productive for the blogger’s community as a whole!

    Please take a look at PHSDL website and email me if you are interested. Let’s fight Spam not commentators!

    P.S. If you are a power blogger and get tons of comments that my server will need to filter, and you are using up a lot of the server’s resources, I may ask you to contribute to the maintenance of the server, depending on the server’s load with relationship to other participants of this project. The project is not for profit, so you should not worry about this!

  19. says

    I thought I was one of the few having troubles with Akismet, but now that I read the comments here I understand that I have to switch games towards Defensio. Thanks for the great tips peeps! I was seriously looking for an alternative to keep things clean on my blogs. Now I know what to choose.